Professor Pier Palamara

Associate Professor of Statistical and Population Genetics

Biographical Sketch

I received my PhD in computer science from Columbia University in 2014. I then spent three and a half years working on statistical and population genetics as a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health, and at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Prior to that, I obtained a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from Rome’s Sapienza University, and a master’s degree from Columbia University, all in computer science with a focus on artificial intelligence, machine learning, and cognitive robotics.

Research Interests

My research is at the intersection of statistics, computer science, and genetics. I develop methods to enable new types of analyses in statistical and population genetics, with a particular interest in problems that involve modeling and inference in large datasets. Specific areas of research include studying evolutionary parameters in the human genome (natural selection, mutation/recombination rates), reconstructing past demographic events using genetic data (migration, expansion/contraction of populations), studying the heritability and genetic architecture of complex traits (nature vs nurture), and detecting disease-causing variation in the human genome.