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Approved research

Identification of genetic risk factors for age-relating hearing disorders.

Principal Investigator: Professor Suzanne Leal
Approved Research ID: 36827
Approval date: May 21st 2018

Lay summary

The goal of this project is to analyze UK biobank data to identify genetic risk factors associated with disorders affecting hearing, such as age-related hearing loss and the perception of noise or ringing in the ears (i.e. tinnitus). Previous studies have shown that these disorders are polygenic in nature, and so far, no major genes have been identified. We will use standard and novel methods which are implemented in software that our group developed to analyze both rare and common genome-wide variation. Our group has a long history of method development and studying the genetics of hearing impairment. By identifying genetic risk factors in involved in hearing dysfunction, we can better understand the etiology of normal hearing and hearing loss. This can lead to the identification of preventative and therapeutic targets. In addition, the identification of genetic risk factors should aid in the development of more accurate diagnostic tools. We will analyze genetic variation in various age-relating hearing disorders using standard and novel in-house developed methods which are implemented in our software SEQSpark, which is optimized for large sequence-based epidemiological studies. We plan to complete all work, including meta-analysis within a three-year time span.