The unprecedented advancements in digital technology during the second half of the 20th century has produced a measurement revolution that is transforming science. For exmple, biomedical research is being driven by new technologies that permit us to observe molecular entities analogous to identifying microorganisms and other breakthroughs permitted by the invention of the microscope.

Scientific fields that have traditionally relied upon simple data analysis techniques have been turned on their heads by these technologies. Interpreting information extracted from these massive and complex datasets requires sophisticated statistical methodology as one can easily be fooled by patterns arising by chance or systematic errors that are hard to detect.

Rafael Irizarry’s lab is interested in the development of statistical tools that help researchers better interpret their data. The lab disseminates these tools through open source that is available for free online. This software has tens of thousands of users and the scientific publications in which these methods are highly cited.


To see a list with all of Rafael Irizarry’s papers you can visit Google Scholar or PubMed. Below are links to papers describing some of our best known work.

Rafael’s ORCID is 0000-0002-3944-4309

Single Cell RNA-Seq



Preprocessing Microarrays

Gene Expression Analysis

SNP Chips


Joining the Lab

If you are graduating soon with a PhD in Statistics, Biostatistics or Computer Science and are interested in working with us, consider applying to join the lab as a postdoctoral fellow. If you are a graduate student at Harvard you should consider doing a rotation. We don’t always have positions available but contacting us is the most common way that current members have joined the lab. To succeed in our lab you need to have experience in data analysis and strong programming skills (we prefer R). Although Professor Irizarry makes time to meet each trainee weekly and the lab is highly collaborative, group members are expected to be independent.

If you are applying to grad school and are interested in joining the lab, you need to apply and be accepted to the to the Biostatistics PhD or the Bioinformatics and Integrative Genomics programs. Students in this program usually pick an advisor after their first or second year. If the advisor agrees it is a good match the student then becomes an official advisee. This decision is based on the student’s performance in their courses or a three month rotation. Note that Professor Irizarry is not on the admissions committee for either of these PhD programs and he does not decide who is admitted. For specific questions about the program please contact or respectively.