Matthew Stephens, PhD, Ralph W. Gerard Professor of Statistics and Human Genetics at the University of Chicago, has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, an organization of many of the world's most eminent scientists and the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence. This year 59 Fellows, 19 Foreign Members, and two Honorary Fellows were elected to the Society for their outstanding contributions to science.
“These individuals have pushed forward the boundaries of their respective fields and had a beneficial influence on the world beyond,” said Sir Adrian Smith, President of the Royal society, in a statement. “They are pioneering scientists and innovators from around the world who have confounded expectations and transformed our thinking.”
Stephens, who is Chair of the Department of Statistics at UChicago, is a leader in statistical and population genetics whose work laid the analytical and methodological foundations of a revolution in human genomic research. His research focuses on developing tractable approximations to complex inferential problems in the analysis of genomic variation, combining innovative probabilistic models and computational Markov-chain Monte Carlo methodology. These insights generated breakthroughs in statistical haplotype phasing, genotype imputation and Bayesian fine-mapping, which have enabled the discovery and characterization of many thousands of genetic loci that influence human biology. Software implementing his methods is widely used, including by many large-scale international projects.