Innovative training in methods for future data

Maarten van Schaik

Maarten van Schaik is a PhD student at University of Leeds at the School of Mathematics. He received his BSc in Criminology and MSc in Statistical Science for Life Sciences at Leiden University in the Netherlands. During his Master’s he had the opportunity to learn about and apply a diverse set of statistical methods, from including methods from the fields of traditional statistics, machine learning and artificial neural networks. During his Master’s he also taught classes in statistics to undergraduates at the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences of Leiden University. In January 2018 he moved to the United Kingdom to start his work as Early Stage Researcher within the IMforFUTURE Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network, under the supervision of Prof. Jeanine Houwing-Duistermaat and Arief Gusnanto. 

Using modern 16S rRNA sequencing techniques, the human gut microbiota has become a new field of research. The scientific community is becoming increasingly aware of the importance of the gut microbiome for human health and longevity. It is believed that among other omics field such as genetics, proteomics and glycomics, a “healthy gut” microbiome plays a key role in healthy ageing. As an ESR in IMforFUTURE, Maarten is working on the development of novel statistical methodology to analyse the multivariate count data that are encountered in high throughput omics research such as the human gut microbiome.

Maarten’s project aims to develop the new methods while working with data from centenarians collected by the University of Bologna and data on twins collected by King’s College London.