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Zoltán Kutalik

Zoltán is trained as applied mathematician (specialized in statistics) and graduated in 2002 at the Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary. Obtained his MPhil degree in 2003 at the University of Manchester Institute of Science & Technology, UK, where he was supervised by Olaf Wolkenhauer in a project to develop new statistical tools for comparative genomics using microarray data. Zoltán obtained his PhD from the University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK (School of Computing Sciences) where his research aimed at modelling and connecting bacterial growth at the population-, single cell- and genetic levels. The research was conducted in close collaboration with József Baranyi’s Computational Microbiology Lab at the Insitute of Food Research.

 2006-2010, Zoltán was a postdoctoral research assistant at the Department of Medical Genetics (University of Lausanne) and affiliated with the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics. His main interest lies in developping statistical methods that connect large scale data sets (SNPs, gene expression, clinical phenotypes). In 2009 he spent three months as a visiting scientist at the Evolutionary Systems Biology Group, BRC researching into the genetic- and biochemical determinants of drug-drug interactions.

 In 2011, Zoltán became junior lecturer (Maitre Assistant) at the Department of Medical Genetics. 


For further information concerning Zoltán Kutalik's group and research interests, please visit his web page.


Research summary

His research is focussed on Genome-wide Association Studies. He is involved in the following projects and collaborations:

  • Development of statistical methodologies tackling the missing heritability

-Uncertain genotype associations (with Toby Johnson, Sven Bergmann)
-Estimating the explained variance distribution (with John Whittaker, Sven Bergmann)
-Gene-environment interactions (with Tanguy Corre, Sven Bergmann)
-Age- & sex-specific associations (GIANT consortium)
-Assessing allelic heterogeneity (with David Lamparter, Clive Hoggart, Georg Ehret, John Whittaker, Jacques Beckmann)

  • Complex traits

-Cardiovascular traits (with Murielle Bochud, Peter Vollenweider)
-Hypergenes (with Daniele Cusi, Jacques Beckmann)
-Taste sensitivity (with Ulrich Genick, Sven Bergmann)
-Transferrin (with Pedro Marques-Vidal, John Whitfield)

  • Diseases

-Hepatitis C (with Pierre-Yves Bochud)
-Narcolepsy (with Mehdi Tafti)
-HIV (with Amalio Telenti)

  • Metabolomics (with Rico Rueedi, Sven Bergmann)
  • Exome sequencing (with Antony Le Béchec, Brian Stevenson, Ioannis Xenarios, Jacques Beckmann)
  • Copy Number Variant (CNV) associations (with Aurelien Mace, Sebastien Jacquemont, Alexandre Reymond, Jacques Beckmann)

Recent selected publications (Complete list of publications (PubMed))

Guessous I, Dobrinas M, Kutalik Z, Pruijm M, Ehret G, Maillard M, Bergmann S, Beckmann JS, Cusi D, Rizzi F, Cappuccio F, Cornuz J, Paccaud F, Mooser V, Gaspoz JM, Waeber G, Burnier M, Vollenweider P, Eap CB, Bochud M. Caffeine intake, and CYP1A2 variants associated with high caffeine intake, protect non-smokers from hypertension. Hum Mol Genet. 2012 Apr 5.

Kapur K, Schüpbach T, Xenarios I, Kutalik Z*, Bergmann S* Comparison of Strategies to Detect Epistasis from eQTL Data. PLoS One. 2011;6(12):e28415. Epub 2011 Dec 19.

Salvi E, Kutalik Z, et al. Genomewide Association Study Using a High-Density Single Nucleotide Polymorphism Array and Case-Control Design Identifies a Novel Essential Hypertension Susceptibility Locus in the Promoter Region of Endothelial NO Synthase. Hypertension. 2011 Dec 19.

Genick UK, Kutalik Z, Ledda M, Souza Destito MC, Souza MM, A Cirillo C, Godinot N, Martin N, Morya E, Sameshima K, Bergmann S, le Coutre J. Sensitivity of Genome-Wide-Association Signals to Phenotyping Strategy: The PROP-TAS2R38 Taste Association as a Benchmark. PLoS One. 2011;6(11):e27745.

Lange CM, Kutalik Z, Morikawa K, Bibert S, Cerny A, Dollenmaier G, Dufour JF, Gerlach TJ, Heim MH, Malinverni R, Müllhaupt B, Negro F, Moradpour D, Bochud PY; the Swiss Hepatitis C Cohort Study Group. Serum ferritin levels are associated with a distinct phenotype of chronic hepatitis C poorly responding to pegylated interferon-α and ribavirin therapy. Hepatology. 2011 Nov 16.

Hor H, Bartesaghi L, Kutalik Z, Vicário JL, de Andrés C, Pfister C, Lammers GJ, Guex N, Chrast R, Tafti M, Peraita-Adrados R. A missense mutation in myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein as a cause of familial narcolepsy with cataplexy. Am J Hum Genet. 2011 Sep 9;89(3):474-9.

Jacquemont S*, Reymond A*, Zufferey F**, Harewood L**, Walters RG**, Kutalik Z**, et al. Mirror extreme BMI phenotypes associated with gene dosage at the chromosome 16p11.2 locus. Nature. 2011 Aug 31;478(7367):97-102. PubMed HubMed

Kutalik Z*, Benyamin B*, Bergmann S, Mooser V, Waeber G, Montgomery GW, Martin NG, Madden PAF, Heath AC, Beckmann JS, Vollenweider P, Marques-Vidal P, Whitfield JB Genome-wide Association Study Identifies Two Loci Strongly Affecting Transferrin Glycosylation. Hum Mol Genet: 2011.

Kutalik Z, Whittaker J, Waterworth D; GIANT consortium, Beckmann JS, Bergmann S.Novel method to estimate the phenotypic variation explained by genome-wide association studies reveals large fraction of the missing heritability Genet Epidemiol. 2011 Jul;35(5):341-9.

Hor H*, Kutalik Z*, Dauvilliers Y, Valsesia A, Lammers GJ, Donjacour CE, Iranzo A, Santamaria J, Adrados RP, Vicario JL, Overeem S, Arnulf I, Theodorou I, Jennum P, Knudsen S, Bassetti C, Mathis J, Lecendreux M, Mayer G, Geisler P, Benetó A, Petit B, Pfister C, Bürki JV, Didelot G, Billiard M, Ercilla G, Verduijn W, Claas FH, Vollenwider P, Waeber G, Waterworth DM, Mooser V, Heinzer R, Beckmann JS, Bergmann S, Tafti M. Genome-wide association study identifies new HLA class II haplotypes strongly protective against narcolepsy. Nat Genet. 2010 Sep;42(9):786-9.

Kutalik Z*, Johnson T*, Bochud M, Mooser V, Vollenweider P, Waeber G, Waterworth D, Beckmann JS, and Bergmann S. Methods for testing association between uncertain genotypes and quantitative traits. Biostatistics 2010 Jun 11. doi:10.1093/biostatistics/kxq039 pmid:20543033.

Rauch A*, Kutalik Z*, Descombes P, Cai T, Di Iulio J, Mueller T, Bochud M, Battegay M, Bernasconi E, Borovicka J, Colombo S, Cerny A, Dufour JF, Furrer H, Günthard HF, Heim M, Hirschel B, Malinverni R, Moradpour D, Müllhaupt B, Witteck A, Beckmann JS, Berg T, Bergmann S, Negro F, Telenti A, Bochud PY; Swiss Hepatitis C Cohort Study; Swiss HIV Cohort Study. Genetic variation in IL28B is associated with chronic hepatitis C and treatment failure: a genome-wide association study. Gastroenterology. 2010 Apr;138(4):1338-45 pmid: 20060832.

Novembre J, Johnson T, Bryc K, Kutalik Z, Boyko AR, Auton A, Indap A, King KS, Bergmann S, Nelson MR, Stephens M, Bustamante CD. Genes mirror geography within Europe. Nature. 2008 Nov 6;456(7218):98-101.

Kutalik Z, Beckmann JS, Bergmann S. A modular approach for integrative analysis of large-scale gene-expression and drug-response data. Nat Biotechnol. 2008 May;26(5):531-9.

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