Conference programme – 2021

Conference Programme

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Topics to be covered in the 2021 programme include:

Family-based analyses relevant to MR

Most Mendelian randomization studies rely on large-scale population data of unrelated individuals. Population phenomena, such as population stratification, dynastic effects, and assortative mating, can induce spurious genotype-phenotype associations in samples of unrelated individuals introducing bias in Mendelian randomization studies. Within-family designs can be used to overcome some of these sources of bias and, therefore, provide more reliable evidence on causal relationships.


This session focuses on methodological considerations and developments on family-based study designs applied to MR.


This session will bring together scientists who are the applying the latest MR methodologies encompassing family designs (e.g. including trios and other family designs) to address questions of causality between exposures and disease outcomes.

Incorporating population diversity

Many Mendelian randomization studies to date have restricted their analyses to individuals of European descent due to insufficient data on individuals from other ancestries. However, some exposures and outcomes are population specific, and most disease differ in prevalence by population. Therefore in order to advance our understanding of disease it is important to look across as well as within populations.


As population diversity of samples used for Mendelian randomization continues to grow, so does the need for novel methods to incorporate that population diversity into our analyses. This theme focuses on methodological considerations around population diversity.


We will showcase examples of studies which span diverse populations and studies within population not highly represented in the literature, highlighting their potential to draw more robust and generalizable results and to study exposures and outcomes which are population specific.

Large Scale consortia

The increasing availability of genetic data from large consortia has facilitated the performance of MR analyses.  These sessions will focus on studies that have included large consortia to provide strong evidence of an exposure – outcome association and explore approaches for addressing potential challenges.

Methods for other MR applications

This session will bring together scientists interested in the latest developments in Mendelian randomization methodology. This session will cover advances in methods for MR estimation that do not focus on either family designs or population diversity but nevertheless have the ability to improve the reliability and robustness of results obtained from MR studies and are applicable to a range of different applications.


To promote engagement between poster presenters and attendees our poster sessions will support virtual chat rooms during dedicates poster sessions.