Rafael Angel Irizarry
Alma mater
Known forBioconductor (R package)
Scientific career
ThesisStatistics and Music: Fitting a Local Harmonic Model to Musical Sound Signals (1998)
Doctoral advisorDavid Brillinger

Rafael Irizarry is a professor of biostatistics at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and professor of biostatistics and computational biology at the Dana–Farber Cancer Institute.[1][2][3] Irizarry is known as one of the founders of the Bioconductor project.


Irizarry gained his Bachelor of Science in mathematics from the University of Puerto Rico at Río Piedras in 1993, followed by a Master of Arts degree from the University of California, Berkeley in 1994. He continued his studies at Berkeley, gaining a PhD in statistics in 1998. His PhD thesis explored the use of statistics to model harmonies in sound signals.[4][5]


Irizarry joined the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 1998, where his research focused on genomics and computational biology.[4] He has worked on the analysis and processing of data arising from microarray experiments and helped develop the Robust Multiarray Analysis (RMA) method for microarray analysis in collaboration with statistician Terry Speed and colleagues;[6] this method was later extended as the frozen RMA (fRMA) method.[7][8] He has also worked on the analysis of next-generation sequencing data.

Irizarry is one of the founders of the Bioconductor project, an open-source and development software project for the analysis of genomic data in the R programming language.[9][10][11] He has been involved in the development of several of the most used Bioconductor packages, including the 'affy' package for the analysis of Affymetrix microarray data.[8][12][13]

Irizarry is the developer and instructor for the online Data Analysis for Life Sciences course on the Harvard University edX platform; this course enrolls over 30,000 students per year.[8][14]


2009 COPSS Presidents' Award in statistics.[15]

2009 Mortimer Spiegelman Award from the American Public Health Association[16][17] given to outstanding public health statisticians under the age of 40.

2017 Benjamin Franklin Award in Bioinformatics for his promotion of free and open-access materials and methods in the life sciences.[18][19]

He was elected as a Fellow of the International Society for Computational Biology in 2020.[20]


  1. ^ "Rafael Irizarry". Harvard University Department of Physics. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  2. ^ "Rafael Irizarry, PhD - DF/HCC". Dana–Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  3. ^ Zimmer, Carl (1 July 2016). "Growing Pains for Field of Epigenetics as Some Call for Overhaul". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 August 2017.
  4. ^ a b Irizarry, Rafael. "About". Rafael Irizarry Lab.
  5. ^ Irizarry, Rafael (1998). "Statistics and Music: Fitting a Local Harmonic Model to Musical Sound Signals (Ph.D. dissertation)" (PDF). S2CID 58781935. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-08-12. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  6. ^ Pevsner, Jonathan (2015). Bioinformatics and Functional Genomics (3rd ed.). John Wiley & Sons. p. 488. ISBN 978-1-118-58178-0. Retrieved 30 August 2017.
  7. ^ McCall, M. N.; Bolstad, B. M.; Irizarry, R. A. (22 January 2010). "Frozen robust multiarray analysis (fRMA)". Biostatistics. 11 (2): 242–253. doi:10.1093/biostatistics/kxp059. PMC 2830579. PMID 20097884.
  8. ^ a b c "Announcing the 2017 Benjamin Franklin Award laureate". Bioinformatics.org. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  9. ^ "Rafael Irizarry". edX. 20 December 2013. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  10. ^ Gentleman, Robert C; Carey, Vincent J; Bates, Douglas M; Bolstad, Ben; Dettling, Marcel; Dudoit, Sandrine; Ellis, Byron; Gautier, Laurent; Ge, Yongchao; Gentry, Jeff; Hornik, Kurt; Hothorn, Torsten; Huber, Wolfgang; Iacus, Stefano; Irizarry, Rafael; Leisch, Friedrich; Li, Cheng; Maechler, Martin; Rossini, Anthony J; Sawitzki, Gunther; Smith, Colin; Smyth, Gordon; Tierney, Luke; Yang, Jean YH; Zhang, Jianhua (2004). "Bioconductor: open software development for computational biology and bioinformatics". Genome Biology. 5 (10): R80. doi:10.1186/gb-2004-5-10-r80. PMC 545600. PMID 15461798.
  11. ^ Mulekar, Madhuri (October 2009). "Statisticians Honored for Contributions | Amstat News". magazine.amstat.org. Retrieved 30 August 2017.
  12. ^ Rafael a. Irizarry <Rafa@Jhu.Edu>, Laurent Gautier<Lgautier@Gmail.Com> (2017). "Methods for Affymetrix Oligonucleotide Arrays". Bioconductor. doi:10.18129/B9.bioc.affy. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  13. ^ Gautier, L.; Cope, L.; Bolstad, B. M.; Irizarry, R. A. (10 February 2004). "affy--analysis of Affymetrix GeneChip data at the probe level". Bioinformatics. 20 (3): 307–315. doi:10.1093/bioinformatics/btg405. PMID 14960456.
  14. ^ "Data Analysis for Life Sciences 1: Statistics and R". Harvard Online Learning. 2016-04-10. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  15. ^ "Presidents' Award". Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies. Archived from the original on 2015-12-06. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  16. ^ "Validating Complex Biology: How Arrays Can Complement Your Next-Gen Data". Science Webinars. 5 December 2012. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  17. ^ "Mortimer Spiegelman Award - APHA STATISTICS SECTION". sites.google.com. Retrieved 30 August 2017.
  18. ^ "Benjamin Franklin Award". Bioinformatics.org. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  19. ^ "Rafael Irizarry Wins 2017 Ben Franklin Award". Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health Department of Biostatistics. 11 April 2017. Archived from the original on 2017-08-12. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  20. ^ "February 19, 2020: ISCB Congratulates and Introduces the 2020 Class of Fellows!". www.iscb.org. Retrieved 23 June 2020.