Paola Sebastiani, PhD
Professor
Boston University School of Public Health
Dept of Biostatistics

PhD, Univ of Rome
MSc, University College London



Paola Sebastiani, Ph.D. joined the Department of Biostatistics in 2003 as an Associate Professor, after holding faculty positions in Italy, England and United States. She is author of more than 200 peer-reviewed publications in theoretical and methodological statistics, artificial intelligence, computational biology and genetics. She is statistical consultant for Circulation and also a regular reviewer for major journals in statistics and computer science, and serves on the program committee of several international conferences at the interface between statistics and artificial intelligence. When she joined the Department of Biostatistics at Boston University in 2003, Dr. Sebastiani had experience in interdisciplinary collaborations and a track record of developing novel methodologies in Bayesian statistics, machine learning, decision theory, graphical modeling and statistical experimental design. She leveraged this experience to develop a wide network of collaborations with investigators from the Bioinformatics program, the Genetics and Genomics program, and the Molecular and Translational Medicine Program. In these collaborations Dr. Sebastiani often introduced original solutions by developing innovative Bayesian techniques for the analysis of genomic and genetic data and for the joint modeling of the genetic, genomic and phenotypic basis of complex traits. This work has been supported by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes for Health and is currently funded by grants of which Dr. Sebastiani is Principal Investigator. Her contributions include, among others, a Bayesian model-based clustering procedure of temporal expression profiles (CAGED), a robust Bayesian approach to analyze differential gene expression using model averaging (BADGE), and novel methods for analysis of genetic data. Dr. Sebastiani was a pioneer in using a Bayesian network approach to model the genetic and phenotypic basis of complications of sickle cell anemia. She developed the first network model for predicting stroke in patients with sickle cell anemia and a network-based prognostic model that integrates sub-phenotypes of sickle cell anemia patients into a score of the overall severity of disease. This model was successfully evaluated by independent investigators and has opened several new research areas in sickle cell disease. These results were the fruit of a long and productive collaboration with Dr. Steinberg to study the genetic basis of different clinical presentations of sickle cell disease.

Dr. Sebastiani has also cultivated a strong and growing reputation as a biostatistician in the fields of gerontology, biology and epidemiology of human aging and longevity. She is the primary statistician of the BU site of the Long Life Family Study, and of the New England Centenarian Study directed by Dr. Thomas Perls. Dr. Sebastiani used an original Bayesian approach to verify the “compression of morbidity hypothesis” that had long been debated in the field of gerontology, developed a method for scoring sibships for familial longevity that can be used to enroll the most informative families in observational studies of human longevity, and introduced a novel Bayesian approach to model the genetic and phenotypic basis of exceptional human longevity. The analysis provides evidence that extreme human longevity is not due to absence of disease variants but to rare combinations of large numbers of common protective variants. Her current work focuses on the generation of molecular profiles to predict patterns of aging, and the biology of aging using a system-based approach.

Boston Medical Center


Member
Boston University
Department of Bioinformatics Graduate Program




New England Centenarian Study
07/01/2016 - 06/30/2020 (Co-PI)
PI: Thomas T. Perls, MD, MPH, FACP
The William M. Wood Foundation

Candidate protective factors for age-associated diseases (target discovery) or factors indicative of healthy aging
09/15/2016 - 09/14/2017 (PI)
Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research

Biomarker Profiles of Sickle Cell Disease
08/03/2016 - 06/30/2017 (PI)
NIH/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
1R21HL128871-01A1

Interdisciplinary Training for Biostatisticians
07/01/2015 - 06/30/2017 (PI)
NIH/National Institute of General Medical Sciences
5T32GM074905-12

The Long Life Family Study
06/01/2014 - 05/31/2017 (PI)
Boston Medical Center Corporation NIH NIA
5U01AG023755-11

Subphenotypes of Exceptional Longevity and Environmental and Genetic Associations
09/30/2011 - 06/30/2016 (PI)
Boston Medical Center Corporation NIH NIA
5U19AG023122-07

Effect of non genetic factors on genetic signatures of complex traits
02/16/2012 - 01/31/2016 (PI)
NIH/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
5R21HL114237-03

Interdisciplinary Training for Biostatisticians
07/01/2010 - 06/30/2015 (PI)
NIH/National Institute of General Medical Sciences
5T32GM074905-10

Severity Index for Sickle Cell anemia in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia
01/01/2013 - 12/31/2013 (Co-PI)
PI: Martin H. Steinberg, MD
King Faisal University

Improving Syndromic Surveillance by Data Integration
09/30/2006 - 09/29/2009 (Co-PI)
HHS/Center for Disease Control
5 R01 PH00021 02

Showing 10 of 15 results. Show All Results


Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.

  1. Fagan E, Sun F, Bae H, Elo I, Andersen SL, Lee J, Christensen K, Thyagarajan B, Sebastiani P, Perls T, Honig LS, Schupf N. Telomere length is longer in women with late maternal age. Menopause. 2017 May; 24(5):497-501.View Related Profiles. PMID: 27922939; DOI: 10.1097/GME.0000000000000795;.
  2. Guha A, Deshpande A, Jain A, Sebastiani P, Cardoso WV. Uroplakin 3a+ Cells Are a Distinctive Population of Epithelial Progenitors that Contribute to Airway Maintenance and Post-injury Repair. Cell Rep. 2017 Apr 11; 19(2):246-254.View Related Profiles. PMID: 28402849; DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2017.03.051;.
  3. Sebastiani P, Gurinovich A, Bae H, Andersen S, Malovini A, Atzmon G, Villa F, Kraja AT, Ben-Avraham D, Barzilai N, Puca A, Perls TT. Four Genome-Wide Association Studies Identify New Extreme Longevity Variants. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2017 Mar 15.View Related Profiles. PMID: 28329165; DOI: 10.1093/gerona/glx027;.
  4. Sebastiani P, Bae H, Gurinovich A, Soerensen M, Puca A, Perls TT. Limitations and risks of meta-analyses of longevity studies. Mech Ageing Dev. 2017 Jan 28.View Related Profiles. PMID: 28143747; DOI: 10.1016/j.mad.2017.01.008;.
  5. Park S, Gianotti-Sommer A, Molina-Estevez FJ, Vanuytsel K, Skvir N, Leung A, Rozelle SS, Shaikho EM, Weir I, Jiang Z, Luo HY, Chui DHK, Figueiredo MS, Alsultan A, Al-Ali A, Sebastiani P, Steinberg MH, Mostoslavsky G, Murphy GJ. A Comprehensive, Ethnically Diverse Library of Sickle Cell Disease-Specific Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells. Stem Cell Reports. 2017 Apr 11; 8(4):1076-1085.View Related Profiles. PMID: 28111279; DOI: 10.1016/j.stemcr.2016.12.017;.
  6. Sebastiani P, Thyagarajan B, Sun F, Schupf N, Newman AB, Montano M, Perls TT. Biomarker signatures of aging. Aging Cell. 2017 Apr; 16(2):329-338.View Related Profiles. PMID: 28058805; DOI: 10.1111/acel.12557;.
  7. Brogly SB, Saia K, Hernández-Diaz S, Werler M, Sebastiani P. The comparative safety of buprenorphine versus methadone in pregnancy-what about confounding? Addiction. 2016 Dec; 111(12):2130-2131.View Related Profiles. PMID: 28075537; DOI: 10.1111/add.13551;.
  8. Sebastiani P, Thyagarajan B, Sun F, Honig LS, Schupf N, Cosentino S, Feitosa MF, Wojczynski M, Newman AB, Montano M, Perls TT. Age and Sex Distributions of Age-Related Biomarker Values in Healthy Older Adults from the Long Life Family Study. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2016 Nov; 64(11):e189-e194.View Related Profiles. PMID: 27783390; DOI: 10.1111/jgs.14522;.
  9. Vathipadiekal V, Farrell JJ, Wang S, Edward HL, Shappell H, Al-Rubaish AM, Al-Muhanna F, Naserullah Z, Alsuliman A, Qutub HO, Simkin I, Farrer LA, Jiang Z, Luo HY, Huang S, Mostoslavsky G, Murphy GJ, Patra PK, Chui DH, Alsultan A, Al-Ali AK, Sebastiani P, Steinberg MH. A candidate transacting modulator of fetal hemoglobin gene expression in the Arab-Indian haplotype of sickle cell anemia. Am J Hematol. 2016 Nov; 91(11):1118-1122.View Related Profiles. PMID: 27501013; DOI: 10.1002/ajh.24527;.
  10. Sebastiani P, Perls TT. Detection of Significant Groups in Hierarchical Clustering by Resampling. Front Genet. 2016; 7:144.View Related Profiles. PMID: 27551289; DOI: 10.3389/fgene.2016.00144;.
Showing 10 of 130 results. Show More

This graph shows the total number of publications by year, by first, middle/unknown, or last author.

Bar chart showing 130 publications over 21 distinct years, with a maximum of 16 publications in 2012

YearPublications
19941
19961
19991
20001
20014
20021
20034
20041
20056
20066
20076
20089
20099
20106
20119
201216
201314
20147
201512
201610
20176
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801 Massachusetts Ave Crosstown Center
Boston MA 02118
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