John Quackenbush

John Quackenbush

Henry Pickering Walcott Professor of Computational Biology and Bioinformatics


Other Positions

Chair, Department of Biostatistics


Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health


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.


Transparency and reproducibility in artificial intelligence.

Haibe-Kains B, Adam GA, Hosny A, Khodakarami F, Waldron L, Wang B, McIntosh C, Goldenberg A, Kundaje A, Greene CS, Broderick T, Hoffman MM, Leek JT, Korthauer K, Huber W, Brazma A, Pineau J, Tibshirani R, Hastie T, Ioannidis JPA, Quackenbush J, Aerts HJWL.

Nature. 2020 Oct. 586(7829):E14-E16. PMID: 33057217

Paenibacillus infection with frequent viral coinfection contributes to postinfectious hydrocephalus in Ugandan infants.

Paulson JN, Williams BL, Hehnly C, Mishra N, Sinnar SA, Zhang L, Ssentongo P, Mbabazi-Kabachelor E, Wijetunge DSS, von Bredow B, Mulondo R, Kiwanuka J, Bajunirwe F, Bazira J, Bebell LM, Burgoine K, Couto-Rodriguez M, Ericson JE, Erickson T, Ferrari M, Gladstone M, Guo C, Haran M, Hornig M, Isaacs AM, Kaaya BN, Kangere SM, Kulkarni AV, Kumbakumba E, Li X, Limbrick DD, Magombe J, Morton SU, Mugamba J, Ng J, Olupot-Olupot P, Onen J, Peterson MR, Roy F, Sheldon K, Townsend R, Weeks AD, Whalen AJ, Quackenbush J, Ssenyonga P, Galperin MY, Almeida M, Atkins H, Warf BC, Lipkin WI, Broach JR, Schiff SJ.

Sci Transl Med. 2020 09 30. 12(563). PMID: 32998967


How so-called 'junk DNA' affects cancer risk

January 29, 2020 – John Quackenbush, Henry Pickering Walcott Professor of Computational Biology and Bioinformatics and chair of the Department of Biostatistics, is trying to understand how our genes influence cancer risk. In a recent research paper, he…