Cornelisse, Posthuma and Verhage receive prestigious NWO grant

16 December 2010

Cornelisse, Posthuma and Verhage receive a prestigious grant from the NWO research program Complexity. This program focuses on multidisciplinary research at the area of complex systems driven by the real societal problems.

The project of Cornelisse, Posthuma and Verhage is a collaboration with Prof. Tom Heskes from the Intelligent Sytems group in Nijmegen and was selected with 13 other projects out of 200 applications. They received 450k Euro to identify gene networks involved in complex brain disorders using Bayesian statistics, which have been successfully applied to other complex problems like weather forecasting, stock market analysis and traffic prediction. Despite the fact that most brain disorders are highly heritable it has been difficult to identify gene defects causing the disease. Most likely this is due to the complexity of these diseases, involving interactions between very many genes. Bayesian strategies can help to improve gene network identification and to link genetic variation in these networks to brain disease. On the long run, this must pave the way for new rational therapeutic strategies, exploiting the predictive power of Bayesian network description.

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