Center News

Edlefsen joins growing Population Sciences program

Harvard-trained researcher to conduct genomic analyses of cancers, HIV

Aug. 2, 2010
Dr. Paul Edlefsen

Dr. Paul Edlefsen Public Health Sciences Division

Dr. Paul Edlefsen, a biostatistics and bioinformatics researcher, recently joined the Public Health Sciences and Vaccine and Infectious Disease divisions.

His primary research focus is on statistical and computational methods for bioinformatics applications, which he will use in VIDD’s Population Sciences program and in the Herbold Computational Biology Program in PHS.

Edlefsen’s methodological work involves statistical modeling for genome sequence analysis. In his previous role at Harvard, he worked to identify transposons, virus-like genes. He intends to adapt these methods for use in the genomic analysis of cancers and pathogens, especially HIV.

“Paul is a gregarious scientist with expertise in bioinformatics, statistics and computer science—all important disciplines for the design and analysis of VIDD studies,” said colleague Dr. Peter Gilbert. “These skills, combined with his reputation for excellence in teaching, make Paul well-suited for the highly interdisciplinary nature of the VIDD research that includes extensive collaboration with non-statisticians.”

Edlefsen, a Seattle native who completed his doctoral degree at Harvard in 2009, said he has longed to return to his hometown. The Center’s reputation cemented his decision to join the Hutchinson Center faculty.

“The Center is a world-class research institution, with strong researchers and an excellent track record,” he said. “I am eager to participate in the prevention research conducted here, which is a great fit for my goals and skills. I am also thrilled to be a part of place with such dedicated and helpful support staff.”

During a previous three-year stint in Seattle, Edlefsen worked as a computational biologist and software engineer at the Institute for Systems Biology.

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center is a world leader in research to prevent, detect and treat cancer and other life-threatening diseases.