Giovanni Parmigiani, PhD, a noted leader in applying bioinformatics
tools to cancer studies and medical decision-making, has been appointed
as the chair of the Department of Biostatistics and Computational Biology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and professor of biostatistics at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH).
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.
He succeeds David Harrington, PhD, who served as departmental chair
since 1998 and who will continue as a senior scientist at Dana-Farber.
Parmigiani's Dana-Farber and HSPH appointments are effective Sept. 1.
"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
"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."
"We could not be more thrilled that Dr. Parmigiani will be joining
our faculty," said James Ware, PhD, Dean for Academic Affairs and
Frederick Mosteller Professor of Biostatistics at HSPH.
"Cancer claims the lives of millions of people around the world. 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."
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
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.
"The Department of Biostatistics and Computational Biology at
Dana-Farber has an outstanding tradition of contributions to cancer
research," said Parmigiani.
"Their tools and ideas hold the key to translating the large and
complex information generated by today's cancer research into prevention
and treatment tools centered around individual patients. I am delighted
and extremely honored to be entrusted with the leadership of this group
at such a pivotal time for cancer research."
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.
Dana-Farber's Department of Biostatistics and Computational Biology
faculty conducts basic research in statistical and computational methods
for clinical trials, population-based studies, and cancer biology.
The department participates extensively in interdisciplinary research
in each of these areas with teams of investigators, providing expert
consultation on the experimental design and analysis of clinical,
laboratory, and population-based studies.
Faculty and staff statisticians in the department play central roles
in the development of all clinical research protocols at
Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center (DF/HCC) and serve as members of the
Scientific Review Committees and the Institutional Review Boards.
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (www.dana-farber.org)
is a principal teaching affiliate of the Harvard Medical School and is
among the leading cancer research and care centers in the United States.
It is a founding member of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center
(DF/HCC), designated a comprehensive cancer center by the National
Harvard School of Public Health (www.hsph.harvard.edu)
is dedicated to advancing the public's health through learning,
discovery, and communication. More than 400 faculty members are engaged
in teaching and training the 1,000-plus student body in a broad spectrum
of disciplines crucial to the health and well being of individuals and
populations around the world. Programs and projects range from the
molecular biology of AIDS vaccines to the epidemiology of cancer; from
risk analysis to violence prevention; from maternal and children's
health to quality of care measurement; from health care management to
international health and human rights.