2023 WNAR Outstanding Impact Award and Lectureship Recipient Announced

19 Jun 2023 4:04 PM | Jessica Minnier (Administrator)

On behalf of WNAR and the WNAR Award Committee, we would like to congratulate Steve Horvath as the recipient of the 2023 WNAR Outstanding Impact Award and Lectureship. Congratulations, Dr. Horvath!

The WNAR of IBS Outstanding impact and Lectureship Award was established in 2021 to recognize an outstanding individual or team, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, nationality or citizenship, who has made a significant impact on our society through service and/or research in the development and application of statistical, mathematical, and data science theory and methods in the biomedical or environmental sciences. A significant impact can comprise either a single contribution of extraordinary merit or an outstanding aggregate of contributions that significantly impacts to biosciences and environmental sciences. 

Dr. Steve Horvath is a Principal Investigator at the Altos Labs San Diego Institute of Science. Prior to joining Altos, he was a Professor of Human Genetics and Biostatistics at UCLA. Dr. Horvath’s nomination package clearly demonstrated his highly impactful research contributions to the fields of bioinformatics and aging biology, especially for his development of the widely used weighted correlation network analysis (WGCNA) method for studying biological networks and for his revolutionary development of the highly accurate and widely used epigenetic clocks, also known as Horvath’s clocks, for age estimation based on DNA methylation data. WNAR is very proud of its outstanding members, represented by Dr. Horvath.

Congratulations as well to our other nominees, all of whom were outstanding and highly impressive in their contributions.

As a recipient of the award, Dr. Horvath will give a talk in the WNAR Outstanding Impact Award Lecture at the JSM on Tuesday, August 8, 2023, 2pm. More information about the lecture can be found below. 

WNAR members, please plan to submit nomination materials for next year’s award. We look forward to recognizing our outstanding members with this honor. More information about the award process can be found on the WNAR award website.

WNAR Outstanding Impact Award Lecture at the JSM

Session 1287 August 8, 2:00-3:50PM
Title:   Epigenetic Clocks and Weighted Correlation Network Analysis

Speaker: Steve Horvath (Department of Biostatistics, University of California, Los Angeles; Altos Labs)

Abstract:   In this presentation, I will discuss two prevalent techniques employed in biostatistics and bioinformatics. First, I will provide an overview of weighted correlation network analysis (WGCNA), a systems biology approach used to delineate correlation patterns among variables. WGCNA enables the identification of clusters (modules) of highly correlated genes, the summarization of these clusters via module eigengene or intramodular hub gene, the establishment of relationships between modules and external sample traits (utilizing eigengene network methodology), and the computation of module membership measures. These techniques have proven successful across various biological contexts. Specifically, I will discuss a recent application of WGCNA to cytosine methylation data gathered by the Mammalian Methylation Consortium.

The second method discussed is referred to as epigenetic clocks, which serve as genomic aging indicators based on cytosine methylation patterns. I will outline three successive generations of epigenetic clocks that are designed to predict age in humans, assess human mortality risk, and estimate age across various mammalian species, respectively.

Dr. Horvath and WNAR President Elizabeth Juarez-Colunga at the JSM session, August 2023

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