Patrick Breheny, PhD

Assistant Professor of Biostatistics


Patrick Breheny is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biostatistics.  Breheny received bachelors' degrees in physics and math as well as a master's in biochemistry before going into the field of statistics. He received his PhD in Biostatistics from the University of Iowa in 2009.  He then spent four years as a faculty member at the University of Kentucky, holding a joint appointment in the Department of Statistics and the Department of Biostatistics there, before returning to the University of Iowa as a faculty member in 2013.

Research Interest(s)

His research focuses on developing statistical models that can handle the size and complexity of genetic and genomic data. The collection of this kind of large-scale data is a relatively recent phenomenon, posing many challenges that traditional statistical methods have proven incapable of addressing. Methodologically, his research focuses on the development and study of penalized likelihood models, along with algorithms and software for fitting these models. He has applied these ideas in many areas, including the use of gene expression to predict origin tissue for metastatic tumors, the integration of information across rare variants in exome-sequencing studies, and accounting for uncertainty in genotype calls for genetic association studies of copy-number variation.

Selected Publications:

Breheny, P. and Huang, J. (2013) Group descent algorithms for nonconvex penalized linear and logistic regression models with grouped predictors. Statistics and Computing. In press.

Li, Y. and Breheny, P. (2013). Kernel-based aggregation of marker-level genetic association tests involving copy-number variation. Microarrays, 2: 265–283.

Breheny, P., Chalise, P., Batzler, A., Wang, L. and Fridley, B. L. (2012). Genetic association studies of copy-number variation: Should assignment of copy number states precede testing? PLoS ONE, 7 e34262

Breheny, P., Li, Y. and Charnigo, R. (2012). Statistical challenges and opportunities in copy number variant association studies. Journal of Biometrics & Biostatistics, 3 e118.

Huang, J., Breheny, P. and Ma, S. (2012). A selective review of group selection in high-dimensional models. Statistical Science, 27 481–499.

Nickell, M. D., Breheny, P., Stromberg, A. J. and McClintock, T. S. (2012). Genomics of mature and immature olfactory sensory neurons. Journal of Comparative Neurology, 520 2608–2629.

Fardo, D., Druen, A., Liu, J., Mirea, L., Infante-Rivard, C. and Breheny, P. (2011). Exploration and comparison of methods for combining population- and family-based genetic association using the genetic analysis workshop 17 mini-exome. BMC Proceedings, 5 S28.

Breheny, P. and Huang, J. (2011). Coordinate descent algorithms for nonconvex penalized regression, with applications to biological feature selection. Annals of Applied Statistics, 5 232–253.

Gode-Potratz, C., Kustusch, R., Breheny, P., Weiss, D. and McCarter, L. (2011). Surface sensing in vibrio parahaemolyticus triggers a programme of gene expression that promotes colonization and virulence. Molecular Microbiology, 79 240–263.

Breheny, P. and Huang, J. (2009). Penalized methods for bi-level variable selection. Statistics and Its Interface, 2 369–380.