Simon Tavare

Professor Emeritus of Quantitative and Computational Biology
Email Office RRI 201 Office Phone (213) 740-8766

Research & Practice Areas

Statistics, Computational Biology, Bioinformatics


  • Ph.D. Probability and Statistics, University of Sheffield, 5/1979
  • M.S. Probability and Statistics, University of Sheffield, 8/1975
  • B.S. Probability and Statistics, University of Sheffield, 7/1974
  • Tenure Track Appointments

    • Professor, Biological Sciences, University of Southern California, 09/01/1989 –
  • Summary Statement of Research Interests

    Statistician-biologist Simon Tavaré studies the evolutionary genetics of primates with anthropologists, DNA chip and sequencing technology with molecular biologists, and the vagaries of cancer with medical scientists–all while advancing his own field of computational biology. His expertise lies in the application of statistics and probability theory to problems arising in molecular biology, human genetics, population genetics, molecular evolution and bioinformatics. He is one of the pioneers of the field of computational biology and has made key contributions in statistical bioinformatics. His most famous work concerns the use of DNA sequence to trace the lineage of a cell, an individual or a species, back through time.

  • Journal Article

    • Wilkinson, R. D., Steiper, M., Soligo, C., Martin, R., Yang, Z., Tavaré, S. (2011). Dating primate divergences through an integrated analysis of palaeontological and molecular data. pp. 16-31.Systematic Biology. Vol. 60,
    • Wilson, M. D., Barbosa-Morais, N. L., Schmidt, D., Conboy, C. M., Vanes, L., Tybulewicz, V. L., Fisher, E. M., Tavaré, S., Odom, D. T. (2008). Species-specific transcription in mice carrying human chromosome 21.. 5900 pp. 434–438. Cancer Research UK, Cambridge Research Institute, Li Ka Shing Centre, Robinson Way, Cambridge CB2 0RE, UK.: Science. Vol. 322 (5900),
    • Grover, D., Tower, J., Tavaré, S. (2008). O fly, where art thou?. 27 pp. 1181–1191. Molecular and Computational Biology Program, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089-2910, USA.: J R Soc Interface. Vol. 5 (27),
    • Dunning, M. J., Barbosa-Morais, N. L., Lynch, A. G., Tavaré, S., Ritchie, M. E. (2008). Statistical issues in the analysis of Illumina data.. pp. 85. Department of Oncology, University of Cambridge, CRUK Cambridge Research Institute, Li Ka Shing Centre, Robinson Way, Cambridge CB2 0RE, UK. BMC Bioinformatics. Vol. 9,
    • Stranger, B. E., Forrest, M. S., Dunning, M., Ingle, C. E., Beazley, C., Thorne, N., Redon, R., Bird, C. P., de Grassi, A., Lee, C., Tyler-Smith, C., Carter, N., Scherer, S. W., Tavaré, S., Deloukas, P., Hurles, M. E., Dermitzakis, E. T. (2007). Relative impact of nucleotide and copy number variation on gene expression phenotypes.. 5813 pp. 848–853. Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridge, CB10 1SA, UK.: Science. Vol. 315 (5813),
    • Tavare, S., Marshall, C. R., Will, O., Soligo, C., Martin, R. D. (2002). Using the fossil record to estimate the age of the last common ancestor of extant primates.. 6882 pp. 726–729. Department of Biological Sciences, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California 90089-1340, USA. Nature. Vol. 416 (6882),
    • Yatabe, Y., Tavare, S., Shibata, D. (2001). Investigating stem cells in human colon by using methylation patterns.. 19 pp. 10839–10844. Department of Pathology, University of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA 90033, USA.: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Vol. 98 (19),
    • Fellow, American Mathematical Society, 2018
    • Foreign Associate, NAS, 2018
    • DSc honoris causa, University of Sheffield, England, 2017
    • Elected Member, EMBO, 2015
    • DTech honoris causa, Chalmers University, Sweden, 2014
    • Fellow of the Royal Society, 2011
    • Fellow, Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, 2010
    • Fellow, Royal Society of Biology, 2009
    • Fellow, Academy of Medical Sciences, 2009
    • Fellow, American Statistical Association, 2004
    • IMS Medallion Lecturer, 2001
    • American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow, 1998
    • IMS Medallion Lecturer, 1993
    • Fellow, Institute of Mathematical Statistics, 1992
    • President, London Mathematical Society, 2015-2017
    • George and Louise Kawamoto Chair in Biological Sciences, 1998/09/01-2013/08/31