Office of the Dean

Dear Members of the HMS Community:

It is with great joy and no small amount of pride that we announce that Robert Gentleman joins Harvard Medical School today as the founding executive director of the newly established Center for Computational Biomedicine.

In this role, Dr. Gentleman will conceptualize the scientific vision for computational biomedicine across HMS to amplify computational and data sciences across our Quad departments and beyond. He will lead the execution of this vision, bringing his decades-long experience in developing software tools, user interfaces and statistical and computational methods to serve this goal.

Dr. Gentleman is an accomplished statistician and computational scientist with an illustrious track record in academia and industry and a passion for medicine. His acumen, intellectual curiosity and enthusiasm will be indispensable in propelling the evolution of data science at HMS in service to humanity.

Most recently, Dr. Gentleman served as vice president of computational biology at the genetic testing company 23andMe, where he helped launch the company’s therapeutics division and was instrumental in building a team of computational biologists working to identify new methods for mapping links between genetic loci and likely drug targets.

Prior to 23andMe, Dr. Gentleman was senior director for bioinformatics and computational biology at Genentech. Before that, Dr. Gentleman led computational biology at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. He has held academic positions at Harvard University, the University of Auckland and the University of Waterloo.

Dr. Gentleman holds doctoral and master’s degrees in statistics from the University of Washington and an undergraduate degree in mathematics from the University of British Columbia.

Computation, data science and machine learning have a storied presence at HMS and have generated key insights about biological processes, function and dysfunction in a range of disciplines, including genetics, neurobiology, microbiology, biological chemistry, systems biology, cell biology and more. We are delighted that Dr. Gentleman will propel HMS into the next phase of this remarkable journey.

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Gentleman to the HMS family.

George Q. Daley
Dean of the Faculty of Medicine
Harvard University

Isaac Kohane
Chair, Department of Biomedical Informatics
Co-Chair, Center for Computational Biomedicine Faculty Advisory Committee
Chair, Center for Computational Biomedicine
Harvard Medical School

Stephen Blacklow
Chair, Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology
Co-Chair, Center for Computational Biomedicine Faculty Advisory Committee
Harvard Medical School
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