Prominent bioinformatics expert to join Harvard School of Public Health faculty and become chair of Dana-Farber Department of Biostatistics and Computational Biology

For immediate release: July 9, 2009

Boston, MA — Giovanni Parmigiani, PhD, a noted leader in applying bioinformatics tools to cancer studies and medical decision-making, has been appointed professor of biostatistics at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and as chair of the Department of Biostatistics and Computational Biology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Parmigiani comes from Johns Hopkins University, where he was director of the Cancer Center’s Bioinformatics Shared Resource and a professor in the Departments of Oncology and Biostatistics. Parmigiani’s HSPH and Dana-Farber appointments are effective Sept. 1.

Parmigiani’s principal research interest is the development of statistical and computational methods to capture and assess biomedical data, including models and software for predicting a person’s risk of cancer. He has helped devise a number of bioinformatics software tools and programs, including BRCAPRO, which is used in genetic counseling of families at high risk of breast and ovarian cancer, and BayesMendel, a suite of tools that covers a broad range of familial risk prediction tasks in breast, ovarian, colorectal, and pancreatic cancers.

“Cancer claims the lives of millions of people around the world,” said James H. Ware, PhD, Dean for Academic Affairs and Frederick Mosteller Professor of Biostatistics at HSPH. “We need every tool in our arsenal to fight this disease. Dr. Parmigiani’s tremendous talents in bioinformatics will add to our growing ability to prevent cancer and to save lives.”

“Dr. Parmigiani is an extraordinarily gifted scientist and a widely regarded leader in the use of bioinformatics to study genetic risk in cancer and to assess genomic data on the effectiveness of therapies studied in clinical trials,” said Edward J. Benz, Jr., MD, president of Dana-Farber. “Utilizing the latest biostatistical and computational methodologies to improve how we design cancer studies and collect and analyze the information they generate is a critical step in the development of more effective and more patient-tailored cancer treatments.”

Parmigiani earned his doctoral degree in statistics from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. He is the author of more than 150 books, book chapters, and scientific papers and is a member of several professional societies. He is a fellow of the American Statistical Association. Prior to Johns Hopkins, Parmigiani held faculty positions at Duke University.