Screen Shot 2013-10-20 at 12.05.26 PMI am currently a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia. As part of the PennSIVE lab led by Dr. Taki Shinohara, I am developing statistical methods and software for the harmonization of large multi-site neuroimaging studies. For instance, intensities of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans are acquired in arbitrary units, making the scans non-comparable across studies, scanners and sites. To tackle this problem, I have recently developed an intensity harmonization technique for structural MRIs in the context of Alzheimer’s disease. The method, called RAVEL, is available here on GitHub and described in our recent NeuroImage paper.

Prior to my current training in neuroimaging at UPenn, I obtained a PhD degree in Biostatistics from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where I focused on the development of statistical methods for the analysis of DNA methylation data with my PhD advisor Kasper Hansen. I have developed functional normalization, (Funnorm), an extension of quantile normalization for normalizing 450k methylation arrays, as well as shinyMethyl for an interactive visualization of 450k methylation array data. Recently, we have adapted the popular minfi package for the analysis of the newly released Illumina EPIC methylation array, and our work has been published in Bioinformatics. I have also shown in this paper that we can reconstruct the A/B genome compartments as revealed by Hi-C data by using the long-range correlations of different epigenetic data, such as methylation, DNase-Seq and ATAC-Seq data.

As a side note, I am French-Canadian and grew up in a tiny town near Quebec City (in Charlevoix) where I spent most of my time learning classical piano, working as a pool lifeguard, and trying to derive the closed-form solutions for the roots of third-degree polynomials. I then spent four years in the beautiful Montreal, where I obtained a Honours Bachelors degree in Mathematics and Statistics at McGill University (Montréal, Canada). I fell in love with genomics and biostatistics, and had the unique opportunity to work with Aurelie Labbe and Celia M.T. Greenwood.

Jean-Philippe Fortin, PhD
Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology
Perelman School of Medicine
University of Pennsylvania
Blockley Hall, 423 Guardian Drive,
Philadelphia, PA, USA, 19104
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