Internationally renowned biostatistician joins UB, Roswell Park

Release Date: September 30, 2015

portrait of Martin Morgan

Martin Morgan, PhD, associate member, Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, Roswell Park Cancer Institute; research professor, Department of Biostatistics, School of Public Health and Health Professions, University at Buffalo

“Dr. Morgan is head of one of the most respected and important resources in the entire field of biostatistics and bioinformatics.”
Alan Hutson, PhD, chair, Department of Biostatistics, School of Public Health and Health Professions
University at Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Martin Morgan, PhD, has joined Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) as an associate member of the Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics.

He remains director of the R/Bioconductor Project, an open-source, open-development software system created to provide tools for high-throughput analysis and comprehension of genomic data — a resource now based at Roswell Park.

Morgan joins Roswell Park and the University at Buffalo’s School of Public Health and Health Professions, where he will serve as research professor in the Department of Biostatistics, from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, where he was principal scientist within the Division of Public Health Sciences. He’s been involved with R/Bioconductor since 2005 and has led the project since 2008.

“Medical research increasingly relies on technological advances that generate large volumes of data. Before researchers can start to understand and interpret their results, though, they need help summarizing them,” Morgan explains.

“Bioconductor enables researchers worldwide to develop, share and use leading-edge statistical approaches and to place the insights we gain from these tools into their appropriate contexts so we can support medical research that’s both more accurate and more actionable. We learn things we can really put to use to improve medical therapies and diagnostics,” he adds.

As project leader on major research grants funded by U.S. and European government agencies, Morgan directs a robust research program. He and his team will work to establish collaborations with research groups pursuing advanced, high-throughput — that is, high-speed and high-volume — statistical analysis of genomic data, as well as enabling individuals and groups to translate their own methods and approaches into Bioconductor packages for use by the wider scientific community.

“Dr. Morgan is head of one of the most respected and important resources in the entire field of biostatistics and bioinformatics,” says Alan Hutson, PhD, chair and professor in the Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics at Roswell Park and in the Department of Biostatistics at UB.

“His arrival at Roswell Park opens up a number of possibilities for enhancing ongoing clinical and research activities within the region, and for increased interactions with scientific teams across the globe. I expect that he’ll be working frequently with facilities like the Roswell Park Center for Personalized Medicine as well as the Buffalo Institute for Genomics & Data Analytics and Center for Computational Research, both of which are part of UB,” Hutson adds.

In 1993, Morgan was awarded a doctorate in ecology and evolution from the University of Chicago. Before that, he earned undergraduate and master’s degrees in botany at the University of Toronto. Prior to joining the Fred Hutch Center in 2005, Morgan spent 10 years on the faculty at Washington State University.

He lives in Buffalo with his wife, the Rev. Joan Montagnes, who was recently called to serve as minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Buffalo.

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