Center for Biomarker Research & Precision Medicine School of Pharmacy


New software for large scale methylation studies

Our studies typically measure the methylation status of > 20 million sites. It is common for computer programs to store data in computer memory. This, however, is not feasible for data sets of this size (e.g. 20 million sites across 1000 samples would already occupy 160 GB, which far exceeds the capacity of most computers). Furthermore, existing software lack important features needed for thorough data analyses. 

We present a new software package called RaMWAS that addresses these challenges. RaMWAS uses a specially developed system of data processing that avoids loading all data into memory. We have made RaMWAS fast by employing efficient algorithms and by parallelizing most tasks across multiple CPU cores. Finally, we implemented a full set of tools for quality control of data, analyses aimed at detecting disease sites, and added advanced options such as the possibility to create risk scores that can used as biomarkers to diagnose disease or predict drug response. 


VCU researchers receive $2.1 million grant to investigate genetic markers for schizophrenia

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Deep Sequencing of Three Loci Implicated in Large-Scale Genome-Wide Association Study Smoking Meta-Analyses published in Nicotine & Tobacco Research

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The Center received a $3 million NIH grant to study molecular marks left by adverse events in childhood

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NIMH grant was awarded to integrate methylomic profiles with genotype and gene expression information from schizophrenia cases and controls

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Methylome-Wide Association Study of Schizophrenia published in JAMA Psychiatry

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