John Quackenbush

Henry Pickering Walcott Professor of Computational Biology and Bioinformatics

Chair, Department of Biostatistics

Department of Biostatistics

Building 2, Room 421
Department of Biostatistics
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Boston, Massachusetts 02115
Phone: 617.432.9028


John Quackenbush is Professor of Computational Biology and Bioinformatics and Chair of the Department of Biostatistics at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Professor in the Channing Division of Network Medicine, and Professor at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. John’s PhD was in Theoretical Physics, but in 1992 he received a fellowship to work on the Human Genome Project. This led him through the Salk Institute, Stanford, The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR), and to Harvard in 2005. John uses massive data to probe how many small effects combine to influence human health and disease. He has more than 300 scientific papers and over 73,000 citations. Among his honors is recognition in 2013 as a White House Open Science Champion of Change.


Genomics has transformed biological science not by producing genome sequences and gene catalogs for a range of species, but rather through the development of technologies that allow us to survey, on a global scale, organisms and their gene, protein, and metabolic patterns of expression. The challenge is no longer how to generate these vast bodies of genomic data, but rather in how to best collect, manage, and analyze the data. As a community, we have a long history of studying biological systems and our best strategy moving forward is to leverage that knowledge so as to best interpret genome scale datasets. Our research group focuses on methods spanning the laboratory to the laptop that are designed to use genomic and computational approaches to reveal the underlying biology. In particular, we have been looking at patterns of gene expression in cancer with the goal of elucidating the networks and pathways that are fundamental in the development and progression of the disease.