New publication!

Our new article has been accepted in Genome Biology:

Nasirigerdeh R, Torkzadehmahani R, Matschinske J, Frisch T, List M, Späth J, Weiss S, Völker U, Pitkänen E, Heider D, Wenke NK, Kaissis G, Rueckert D, Kacprowski T, Baumbach J: sPLINK: a hybrid federated tool as a robust alternative to meta-analysis in genome-wide association studies. Genome Biology 2022, 23:32 (Link)


Meta-analysis has been established as an effective approach to combining summary statistics of several genome-wide association studies (GWAS). However, the accuracy of meta-analysis can be attenuated in the presence of cross-study heterogeneity. We present sPLINK, a hybrid federated and user-friendly tool, which performs privacy-aware GWAS on distributed datasets while preserving the accuracy of the results. sPLINK is robust against heterogeneous distributions of data across cohorts while meta-analysis considerably loses accuracy in such scenarios. sPLINK achieves practical runtime and acceptable network usage for chi-square and linear/logistic regression tests. sPLINK is available at

Written by: Dominik Heider