Anita DeStefano

Graduate Affairs Faculty Fellow for Diversity and Inclusion, Professor of Biostatistics

Anita L. DeStefano, Ph.D. is Professor of Biostatistics and Neurology and Graduate Affair Faculty Fellow for Diversity and Inclusion. She was an inaugural Associate Director of the BU Genome Science Institute and served in that position from 2008 through 2018. She was Co-Director of the Biostatistics Program, which grants MA and Ph.D degrees in Biostatistics for 10 years and is current Director of the Graduate Certificate Program in Statistical Genetics. Dr. DeStefano developed a course in Statistical Genetics (BS858), which is taught to MPH, Biostatistics Program, and other graduate students. She is also co-PI of the BU Summer Institute for Research Education in Biostatistics (SIBS) program, which strives to introduce a diverse group of students into the vibrant field of Biostatistics. She has taught or served as course coordinator for Introduction to Statistical Computing (BS723) for over 18 years. Dr. DeStefano has been instrumental in developing research computing resources for BUMC. She currently is co-chair of the BU IS&T Research Computing Governance Committee.

Her main research interest is statistical genetics. She was an investigator in the multi-national GenePD study working to identify the genes contributing Parkinson Disease. Dr. DeStefano is also a senior statistical geneticist for the Framingham Heart Study focusing on stroke, Alzheimer disease and related endophenotypes including brain MRI measures. She is a key member of the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology (CHARGE) consortium Neurology working group and of the TOPMed Neurocognitive working group and International Genomics of Alzheimer Disease (IGAP) consortium. She currently leads analyses and serves as co-chair of the QC working group within the Alzheimer Disease Sequencing Project (ADSP). Dr. DeStefano is contact PI for the multi-site NIA U01 project “Therapeutic target discovery in ADSP data via comprehensive whole-genome analysis incorporating ethnic diversity and systems approaches”. She also leads an RNA sequencing project in human post-mortem brain tissue focused on long-term obesity status prior to death.