More than a year before each Genetic Analysis Workshop, suggestions for topic and appropriate data sets are solicited from people on the GAW mailing list (which now includes more than 3000 individuals).  

Topics are chosen and a small group of organizers is selected by the GAW Advisory Committee. Data sets are assembled, and six or seven months before each GAW, a memo is sent to individuals on the GAW mailing list announcing the availability of the GAW data. Included with the memo is a short description of the data sets and a form for requesting data. The form contains a statement to be signed by any investigator requesting the data, acknowledging that the data are confidential and agreeing not to use them for any purpose other than the Genetic Analysis Workshop without written permission from the data provider(s). Data are distributed by ftp or CD-ROM or, most recently, on the web, together with a more complete written description of the data sets.

Investigators who wish to participate in GAW submit written contributions approximately 6-8 weeks before the Workshop.  
The GAW Advisory Committee reviews contributions for relevance to the GAW topics. Contributions are assembled and distributed to all participants approximately two weeks before the Workshop. Participation in the GAWs is limited to investigators who (1) submit results of their analyses for presentation at the Workshop, or (2) are data providers, invited speakers or discussants, or Workshop organizers.

The proceedings of each GAW are published. 

Proceedings from GAW18 are currently in press, with an anticipated publication date of late Spring 2014.  GAW17 proceedings were published late 2011 in part by Genetic Epidemiology (Volume 35, Supplement 1, 2011) and in part by Biomed Central (BMC Proceedings, Volume 5, Supplement 9, 2011).


The Genetic Analysis Workshops (GAWs), which began in 1982, were initially motivated by the development and publication of several new algorithms for statistical genetic analysis, as well as by reports in the literature in which different investigators, using different methods of analysis, had reached contradictory conclusions. 

The impetus was initially to determine the numerical accuracy of the algorithms, to examine the robustness of the methodologies to violations of assumptions, and finally, to compare the range of conclusions that could be drawn from a single set of data.


The Workshops have evolved to include consideration of problems related to analyses of specific complex traits, but the focus has always been on analytical methods. 
The Workshops provide an opportunity for participants to interact in addressing methodological issues, to test novel methods on the same well-characterized data sets, to compare results and interpretations, and to discuss current problems in genetic analysis. The Workshop discussions are a forum for investigators who are evolving new methods of analysis as well as for those who wish to gain further experience with existing methods. The success of the Workshops is due at least in part to the focus on specific problems and data sets, the informality of sessions, and the requirement that everyone who attends must have made a contribution.


Previous Genetic Analysis Workshops have been devoted to the topics listed below.
Workshops devoted to mapping have utilized genetic markers on:

  • evaluation of methods of segregation analysis of quantitative traits (GAW1 - MacCluer et al., 1983);

  • methods for detecting and interpreting disease-marker associations and linkage (GAW2 - MacCluer et al., 1984a, b); 

  • methods for multipoint mapping (GAW3 - MacCluer et al., 1985a, b; and GAW6: Spence et al., 1989); 

  • resolution of differences in genetic maps obtained by different investigators (GAW4 - Meyers and Beaty, 1987); 

  • new approaches to analysis of data sets for specific diseases (GAW4 - Bishop et al., 1987); 

  • issues of genetic heterogeneity and genotype-environment interaction (GAW5 - Clerget-Darpoux et al., 1989); 

  • linkage analysis using information from affected relative pairs (GAW6 - Elston et al., 1989); 

  • resolution of physical and genetic maps (GAW7 - Boehnke, 1992; Green, 1992); 

  • recent progress in statistical genetic methods (GAW7 - Bishop, 1992); 

  • evaluation of methods for detecting genetic effects on quantitative disease precursors (GAW7 - Risch and Sherman, 1992; and GAW12 - Wijsman et al., 2001); 

  • genetic analysis of disorders with apparent genetic heterogeneity (GAW8 - Wijsman, 1993); 

  • genetic analysis of multiple quantitative risk factors for complex diseases (GAW8 - Wilson, 1993; and GAW12 - Wijsman et al., 2001); 

  • mapping of genes that influence complex oligogenic traits (GAW9 - Hodge, 1995; Blangero, 1995; Goldgar, 1995; GAW10 - Rice, 1997; GAW11 - Almasy and Borecki, 1999; and GAW12- Wijsman et al., 2001); 

  • issues of power and false positives in genomic searching (GAW10 - Wijsman and Amos, 1997; GAW11 - Greenberg, 1999; and GAW12 - Wijsman et al., 2001); 

  • analysis of DNA sequence data for candidate genes (GAW11); and 

  • genetic analysis of longitudinal data for a complex disease and its risk factors (GAW13).

The Workshops have utilized both computer simulated and real data. 
The real data sets have included:

  • family data for breast cancer (GAW4 and GAW9);

  • insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (GAW4 and GAW5);

  • coeliac disease (GAW4);

  • multiple sclerosis (GAW4);

  • Huntington's disease (GAW4);

  • affective disorders (GAW5 and GAW10);

  • melanoma (GAW7);

  • Alzheimer's disease (GAW8);

  • coronary heart disease (GAW8, GAW12, and GAW13); 

  • asthma (GAW11);

  • Alcoholism and related quantitative risk factors with genome-wide microsatellites and low density SNPs from the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism (GAW14);

  • RNA expression levels and a low density map of genome-wide SNPs in CEPH families (GAW15, problem 1);

  • Rheumatoid arthritis data with genome-wide microsatellites and a low density SNP map from the North American Rheumatoid Arthritis Consortium (GAW15, problem 2);

  • Longitudinal data on heart disease and related risk factors and high density genome-wide SNPs from the Framingham Heart Study families (GAW16, problem 1); and

  • High density genome-wide SNPs from a case/control Rheumatoid Arthritis study (GAW16, problem 2).

The simulated data sets have included:

  • Microsatellite & SNP genome-wide scan data for 4 studies of a complex diseae with different study designs, disease definitions, & genetic determinants. 100 replicates (GAW14); 

  • 15- Data for a complex disease and quantitative risk factors in 1500 nuclear families with an ASP & 2000 control families. Genome-wide microsatellite and SNP markers, dense SNPs on one chromosome. Modeled after the GAW15 NARAC data set. 100 replicates (GAW15, problem 2); and 

  • 16 - Phenotypic data for a complex disease and quantitative risk factors, using the real genotypes and family structures from the GAW16 Framingham Heart Disease data set. 200 replicates (GAW16, problem 1).

Workshops devoted to mapping having utilized genetic markers on:

  • chromosomes 7 (GAW6) and 11 (GAW4);

  • chromosome 21 genetic and physical data (GAW7); and

  • computer simulated data (GAW3, GAW9, GAW10, GAW11, GAW12 and GAW13).



MacCluer JW, Wagener DK, Spielman RS (1983) Genetic Analysis Workshop I: Segregation analysis of simulated data. Am J Hum Genet 35:784-792



MacCluer JW, Falk CT, Spielman RS, Wagener DK (1984a) Genetic Analysis Workshop II: Summary. Genet Epidemiol 1:147-159

MacCluer JW, Falk CT, Spielman RS, Wagener DK (1984b) Genetic Analysis Workshop II: Analysis of disease-marker associations. Am J Hum Genet 36:1409-1414



MacCluer JW, Falk CT, Wagener DK (1985a) Genetic Analysis Workshop III: Summary. Genet Epidemiol 2:185-198

MacCluer JW, Falk CT, Wagener DK (1985b) Genetic Analysis Workshop III: Multipoint mapping and linkage. Am J Hum Genet 37:1040-1044



Bishop DT, Falk CT, MacCluer JW (eds) (1987) Genetic Epidemiology: Applications and Comparisons of Methods. New York: Alan R Liss (Also published in Genet Epidemiol Supplement 1, 1986)

Bailey-Wilson JE, Cannon LA, King M-C (1987) Genetic analysis of human breast cancer: A synthesis of contributions to GAW IV, pp 15-36

Meyers DA, Beaty TH (1987) Genetic Analysis Workshop IV: Summary of two-point and multipoint mapping of 11p, pp 99-112

Pericak-Vance MA, Meyers DA (1987) Genetic Analysis Workshop IV: Huntington disease linkage analysis summary, pp 197-210

Sherman SL (1987) Genetic Analysis Workshop IV: Summary for coeliac disease, pp 271-276

Baur MP (1987) Genetic Analysis Workshop IV: Insulin dependent diabetes mellitus - summary, pp 299-312

Risch N (1987) Genetic Analysis Workshop IV: Summary of the multiple sclerosis workshop, pp 371-380



Clerget-Darpoux F, Falk CT, MacCluer JW (eds) (1989) Genetic Analysis of Complex Traits: Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus and Affective Disorders. Genet Epidemiol 6(1), special issue. Also published in two volumes as:

Spielman RS, Baur MP, Clerget-Darpoux F (1989) Genetic Analysis of Complex Traits. Part I: Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus. New York: Alan R Liss

Rice JP, Risch N, Goldin LR (1989) Genetic Analysis of Complex Traits. Part II: Affective Disorders. New York: Alan R Liss



Elston RC, Spence MA, Hodge SE, MacCluer JW (eds) (1989) Multipoint Mapping and Linkage Based Upon Affected Pedigree Members: Genetic Analysis Workshop 6. Progress in Clinical and Biological Research, vol 329, New York: Alan R Liss

Spence MA, Tsui LC, Hodge SE, MacCluer JW, Elston RC (1989) Genetic Analysis Workshop 6: Multipoint mapping of loci in the region of cystic fibrosis, pp 1-10

Elston RC, MacCluer JW, Hodge SE, Spence MA, King RH (1989) Genetic Analysis Workshop 6: Linkage analysis based on affected pedigree members, pp 93-104



MacCluer JW, Chakravarti A, Cox D, Bishop DT, Bale SJ, Skolnick MH (eds) (1992) Genetic Analysis Workshop 7: Issues in Gene Mapping and Detection of Major Genes. Cytogenet Cell Genet 59(2-3)

Boehnke M (1992) Genetic Analysis Workshop 7: Radiation hybrid and somatic cell hybrid mapping of chromosome 21, pp 74-76

Green P (1992) Genetic Analysis Workshop 7: Mapping chromosome 21 linkage markers, pp 77-79

Bishop DT (1992) Genetic Analysis Workshop 7: Recent progress in statistical genetic methods, pp 131-132

Risch N, Sherman S (1992) Genetic Analysis Workshop 7: Summary of the melanoma workshop, pp 148-158



Elston RC, Spence MA, Haines JL, Marazita ML, Pericak-Vance MA, Siervogel RM, MacCluer JW (eds) (1993) Genetic Analysis Workshop 8: Issues in the Analysis of Complex Diseases and Their Risk Factors. Genet Epidemiol 10(6)

Wijsman EM (1993) Genetic analysis of Alzheimer's disease: A summary of contributions to GAW8, pp 349-360

Wilson AF (1993) Methods and applications of genetic analysis in the study of cardiovascular disease: A summary of contributions to GAW8, pp 503-512



Goldin LR, Bishop DT, Meyers DA, Morgan K, Rice JP, MacCluer JW (eds) (1995) Genetic Analysis Workshop 9. Analysis of Complex Oligogenic Traits. Genet Epidemiol 12(6)

Hodge SE (1995) An oligogenic disease displaying weak marker associations: A summary of contributions to Problem 1 of GAW9, pp 545-554

Blangero J (1995) Genetic analysis of a common oligogenic trait with quantitative correlates: Summary of GAW9 results, pp 689-706

Goldgar DE (1995) Analysis of familial breast cancer in Genetic Analysis Workshop 9: Summary of findings, pp 833-836



Goldin LR, Bailey-Wilson JE, Borecki IB, Falk CT, Goldstein AM, Suarez BK, MacCluer JW (eds) (1997) Genetic Analysis Workshop 10: Detection of Genes for Complex Traits. Genet Epidemiol 14(6)

Rice J (1997) Genetic analysis of bipolar disorder: Summary of GAW10, pp 549-561

Wijsman EM, Amos CI (1997) Genetic analysis of simulated oligogenic traits in nuclear and extended pedigrees: Summary of GAW10 contributions, pp 719-735



Goldin LR, Amos CI, Chase GA, Goldstein AM, Jarvik GP, Martinez MM, Suarez BK, Weeks DE, Wijsman EM, MacCluer JW (eds) (1999) Genetic Analysis Workshop 11: Analysis of Genetic and Environmental Factors in Common Diseases. Genet Epidemiol 17(Suppl. 1)

Almasy L and Borecki IB (1999) Exploring Genetic Analysis of Complex Traits through the Paradigm of Alcohol Dependence: Summary of GAW11 Contributions, pp S1-S24

Greenberg DA (1999) Summary of Analyses of Problem 2 Simulated Data for GAW11, pp S429-447



Wijsman EM, Almasy L, Amos CI, Borecki I, Falk CT, King TM, Martinez MM, Meyers D, Neuman R, Olson JM, Rich S, Spence MA, Thomas DC, Vieland VJ, Witte JS, MacCluer JW (2001) Genetic Analysis Workshop 12: Analysis of complex genetic traits: Applications to asthma and simulated data. Genet Epidemiol 21(Suppl 1):S1-S853.



Almasy L, Amos CI, Bailey-Wilson JE, Cantor RM, Jaquish CE, Martinez M, Neuman RJ, Olson JM, Palmer LJ, Rich SS, Spence MA, MacCluer JW (eds) Genetic Analysis Workshop 13: Analysis of Longitudinal Family Data for Complex Diseases and Related Risk Factors, BMC Genetics (2003) Volume 4(Supplement 1). 


Bailey-Wilson JE, Thomas D and MacCluer JW (eds) Genetic Analysis Workshop 14: Summarizing analyses comparing microsatellite and SNP marker loci for genome-wide scans. Genetic Epidemiology 29(Suppl 1), S1-S132 (2005).
Bailey-Wilson JE, Almasy L, de Andrade M, Bailey J, Bickeböller H, Cordell HJ, Daw EW, Goldin L, Goode EL, Gray-McGuire C, Hening W, Jarvik G, Maher BS, Mendell N, Paterson AD, Rice J, Satten G, Suarez B, Vieland V, Wilcox M, Zhang H, Ziegler A and MacCluer JW (eds) Microsatellite and single-nucleotide polymorphisms. Proceedings of Genetic Analysis Workshop 14. BMC Genetics, Volume 6 (Suppl 1), S1-S162 (2005).


Witte JH, Schnell AH, Cordell HJ, Almasy L and MacCCluer JW (eds) Genetic Analysis Workshop 15: Summaries of the Design and Analysis of Genomic Data. Genetic Epidemiology 31 (Suppl 1) , S1-S148 (2007).

Heather J Cordell, Mariza de Andrade, Marie-Claude Babron, Christopher W Bartlett, Joseph Beyene, Heike Bickeböller, Robert Culverhouse, Adrienne Cupples, E Warwick Daw, Josée Dupuis, Catherine T Falk, Saurabh Ghosh, Katrina A Goddard, Ellen L Goode, Elizabeth R Hauser, Lisa J Martin, Maria Martinez, Kari E North, Nancy L Saccone, Silke Schmidt, William Tapper, Duncan Thomas, David Tritchler, Veronica J Vieland, Ellen M Wijsman, Marsha A Wilcox, John S Witte, Qiong Yang, Andreas Ziegler, Laura Almasy and Jean W MacCluer (eds) Genetic Analysis Workshop 15: Gene Expression Analysis and Approaches to Detecting Multiple Functional Loci .BMC Proceedings, Volume 1 (Suppl 1), S1-S168 (2007)



MacCluer JW, Cupples LA and Almasy L (eds) Genetic Analysis Workshop 16: Approaches to Analysis of Genome-Wide Data. Genetic Epidemiology 33 (Suppl 1), S1-S110 (2009).

L Adrienne Cupples, Joseph Beyene, Heike Bickeböller, E Warwick Daw, M Daniele Fallin, W James Gauderman, Saurabh Ghosh, Ellen L Goode, Elizabeth R Hauser, Anthony Hinrichs, Jack W Kent Jr, Lisa J Martin, Maria Martinez, Rosalind J Neuman, Michael Province, Silke Szymczak, Marsha A Wilcox, Andreas Ziegler, Jean W MacCluer and Laura Almasy (eds) Genetic Analysis Workshop 16: Strategies for genome-wide association study analyses. BMC Proceedings, Volume 3 (Suppl 7), S1-S135 (2009).



Ziegler A, MacCluer JW and Almasy L (eds) Genetic Analysis Workshop 17: Approaches to Analysis of Next-Generation Sequencing Data. Genetic Epidemiology 35(Suppl 1), S1-S119 (2011).

S Ghosh, H Bickeböller, J Bailey, JE Bailey-Wilson, R Cantor, W Daw, AL DeStefano, CD Engelman, A Hinrichs, J Houwing-Duistermaat, IR König, J Kent Jr., N Pankratz, A Paterson, E Pugh, Y Sun, A Thomas, N Tintle, X Zhu, JW MacCluer and L Almasy (eds) Genetic Analysis Workshop 17: Unraveling Human Exome Data. BMC Proceedings, Volume 5 (Suppl 9), S1-S121 (2011).



Paterson A, Bickeböller H and Almasy L (eds) Genetic Analysis Workshop 18:  Approaches to Analysis of Whole Genome Sequence Data.  Genetic Epidemiology , in press.

H Bickeböller, JN Bailey, J Beyene, RM Cantor, JH Cordell, RC Culverhouse, CD Engelman, DW Fardo, S Ghosh, IR König, J Lorenzo Bermejo, PE Melton, SA Santorico, GA Satten, L Sun, NL Tintle, A Ziegler and L Almasy (eds) Genetic Analysis Workshop 18:  Human Sequence data in extended pedigreees.  BMC Proceedings, Volume 8 (Suppl 1), S1-S111 (2014).


Members of the GAW Advisory Committee are experts in their fields who volunteer their time on behalf of GAW. 
The Advisory Committee chooses topics and data sets for each Workshop and assists in Workshop organization. Each committee member also has contributed to the success of the Workshops over the years as a participant, group leader, editor, local organizer, or data provider.

Committee members serve 5-year terms.

Current Membership (term ending)

Adrienne Cupples, USA (2014)

Jeanine Houwing-Duistermaat, Germany (2016)

Ellen Wijsman, USA (2014)

Inke Koenig, Germany (2017)

Shelly Bull, Canada (2015)

Corinne Engelman, USA (2018)

Jim Gauderman, USA (2015)

Michael Province, USA (2018)

Andrew Paterson, Canada (2016)

Laura Almasy, USA

Jean MacCluer, USA

Past Membership (term ended)

Cathy Falk, USA (2003)Heather Cordell, UK (2008)

Anne Spence, USA (2003)Heike Bickeböller, Germany (2009)

Max Baur, Germany (2004)John Witte, USA (2009)

Sue Hodge, USA (2004)Andreas Ziegler, Germany (2010)

Chris Amos, USA (2005)Ingrid Borecki, USA (2010)

Françoise Clerget-Darpoux, France (2006)Maria Martinez, France (2011)

Lynn Goldin, USA (2006)Xiaofeng Zhu, USA (2011)

Duncan Thomas, USA (2007)Beth Hauser, USA (2012)

Joan Bailey-Wilson, USA (2008)Glen Satten, USA (2013)

Saurabh Ghosh, India (2013)