I don't know if you read Science Brewer
but he's a PhD microbiologist who has done a ton of blog entries on yeasties. I'm sure reading his blog could give you some ideas.
You could look into what causes the various mutations in a given strain after going through however many cycles it takes to ferment out a batch of beer. Find the interactions between IBUs(break it down further into the various humulenes), effects of wort gravity on mutation rate/specific mutations.
How these mutations affect metabolism of sugars.
Find a common ancestor for a given set of strains.
I'm sure some of it has been done, but those abstracts might give you inspiration. Speaking of abstracts have a chat with these folks: http://sdbn.org/2012/03/30/brewing-s...ssion-brewery/