UCL Division of Biosciences


Better estimation of SNP heritability from summary statistics

4 December 2018

Genetics, Evolution and Environment

Better estimation of SNP heritability from summary statistics

Two researchers at UGI, Doug Speed and David Balding, have created SumHer, a new software for analyzing results from genetic association studies. The two main aims of SumHer are to estimate confounding bias (measure how well an association study was performed) and to estimate SNP heritability (calculate how much of the variation in a trait is due to common genetic variants). By applying SumHer to results for a wide variety of traits, Speed and Balding have shown that previous studies have tended to over-correct for confounding, causing them to find about 25% less causal variants that they would have with more appropriate quality control. They have also found that for each trait, common variants explain at least twice as much heritability as previously reported. The results from SumHer enable us to more efficiently analyze future data. SumHer is made freely available through the software package LDAK.

Read full paper: SumHer better estimates the SNP heritability of complex traits from summary statistics
Authors: Doug Speed & David J. Balding