Education & Certifications

  • BS, University of Tokyo, Bioinformatics and Systems Biology (2016)

Research & Scholarship

Lab Affiliations


All Publications

  • Significant shared heritability underlies suicide attempt and clinically predicted probability of attempting suicide. Molecular psychiatry Ruderfer, D. M., Walsh, C. G., Aguirre, M. W., Tanigawa, Y., Ribeiro, J. D., Franklin, J. C., Rivas, M. A. 2019


    Suicide accounts for nearly 800,000 deaths per year worldwide with rates of both deaths and attempts rising. Family studies have estimated substantial heritability of suicidal behavior; however, collecting the sample sizes necessary for successful genetic studies has remained a challenge. We utilized two different approaches in independent datasets to characterize the contribution of common genetic variation to suicide attempt. The first is a patient reported suicide attempt phenotype asked as part of an online mental health survey taken by a subset of participants (n=157,366) in the UK Biobank. After quality control, we leveraged a genotyped set of unrelated, white British ancestry participants including 2433 cases and 334,766 controls that included those that did not participate in the survey or were not explicitly asked about attempting suicide. The second leveraged electronic health record (EHR) data from the Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC, 2.8 million patients, 3250 cases) and machine learning to derive probabilities of attempting suicide in 24,546 genotyped patients. We identified significant and comparable heritability estimates of suicide attempt from both the patient reported phenotype in the UK Biobank (h2SNP=0.035, p=7.12*10-4) and the clinically predicted phenotype from VUMC (h2SNP=0.046, p=1.51*10-2). A significant genetic overlap was demonstrated between the two measures of suicide attempt in these independent samples through polygenic risk score analysis (t=4.02, p=5.75*10-5) and genetic correlation (rg=1.073, SE=0.36, p=0.003). Finally, we show significant but incomplete genetic correlation of suicide attempt with insomnia (rg=0.34-0.81) as well as several psychiatric disorders (rg=0.26-0.79). This work demonstrates the contribution of common genetic variation to suicide attempt. It points to a genetic underpinning to clinically predicted risk of attempting suicide that is similar to the genetic profile from a patient reported outcome. Lastly, it presents an approach for using EHR data and clinical prediction to generate quantitative measures from binary phenotypes that can improve power for genetic studies.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41380-018-0326-8

    View details for PubMedID 30610202

  • Global Biobank Engine: enabling genotype-phenotype browsing for biobank summary statistics. Bioinformatics (Oxford, England) McInnes, G., Tanigawa, Y., DeBoever, C., Lavertu, A., Olivieri, J. E., Aguirre, M., Rivas, M. A. 2018


    Summary: Large biobanks linking phenotype to genotype have led to an explosion of genetic association studies across a wide range of phenotypes. Sharing the knowledge generated by these resources with the scientific community remains a challenge due to patient privacy and the vast amount of data. Here we present Global Biobank Engine (GBE), a web-based tool that enables exploration of the relationship between genotype and phenotype in biobank cohorts, such as the UK Biobank. GBE supports browsing for results from genome-wide association studies, phenome-wide association studies, gene-based tests, and genetic correlation between phenotypes. We envision GBE as a platform that facilitates the dissemination of summary statistics from biobanks to the scientific and clinical communities.Availability and implementation: GBE currently hosts data from the UK Biobank and can be found freely available at

    View details for DOI 10.1093/bioinformatics/bty999

    View details for PubMedID 30520965

  • Medical relevance of protein-truncating variants across 337,205 individuals in the UK Biobank study NATURE COMMUNICATIONS DeBoever, C., Tanigawa, Y., Lindholm, M. E., McInnes, G., Lavertu, A., Ingelsson, E., Chang, C., Ashley, E. A., Bustamante, C. D., Daly, M. J., Rivas, M. A. 2018; 9: 1612


    Protein-truncating variants can have profound effects on gene function and are critical for clinical genome interpretation and generating therapeutic hypotheses, but their relevance to medical phenotypes has not been systematically assessed. Here, we characterize the effect of 18,228 protein-truncating variants across 135 phenotypes from the UK Biobank and find 27 associations between medical phenotypes and protein-truncating variants in genes outside the major histocompatibility complex. We perform phenome-wide analyses and directly measure the effect in homozygous carriers, commonly referred to as "human knockouts," across medical phenotypes for genes implicated as being protective against disease or associated with at least one phenotype in our study. We find several genes with strong pleiotropic or non-additive effects. Our results illustrate the importance of protein-truncating variants in a variety of diseases.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41467-018-03910-9

    View details for Web of Science ID 000430674000001

    View details for PubMedID 29691392

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5915386

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