Department of Statistics
Department of Medical Genetics
Assistant Professor
CMMT Rm. 3110A
950 West 28th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V5Z 4H4

Research  Interests

Computational Biology, Regulatory Networks, Genetics of Complex Traits, Psychiatric Genetics, Machine Learning in Computational Biology,

Research Summary

The production of diverse types of high-dimensional biological data has increased tremendously in the last decade, presenting novel opportunities to develop and apply computational and machine learning approaches to understand the genetics of human diseases. However, the high dimensionality of this data, whereby up to millions of diverse and heterogeneous “features” are measured in a single experiment, coupled with the prevalence of systematic confounding factors present significant challenges in disentangling bona fide associations that are informative of causal molecular events in disease. My research interest lies in designing tailored computational models for integrating multiple types of high-dimensional “omics” data, with the ultimate goal of disentangling meaningful molecular correlations for common diseases such as psychiatric disorders.

Selected Publications

Mostafavi S, Battle A, Zhu X, Potash JB, Weissman MM, Shi J, Beckman K, Haudenschild C, McCormick C, Mei R, Gameroff MJ, Gindes H, Adams P, Goes FS, Mondimore FM, Mackinnon DF, Notes L, Schweizer B, Furman D, Montgomery SB, Urban AE, Koller D, Levinson DF.  Type I interferon signaling genes in recurrent major depression: increased expression detected by whole-blood RNA sequencing. Molecular Psychiatry. 2014.

Battle A, Mostafavi S, Zhu X, Potash JB, Weissman MM, McCormick C, Haudenschild CD, Beckman KB, Shi J, Mei R, Urban AE, Montgomery SB, Levinson DF, Koller D. Characterizing the genetic basis of transcriptome diversity through RNA-sequencing of 922 individuals. Genome Research. 2014

Raj T, Rothamel K, Mostafavi S, Ye C, Lee MN, Replogle JM, Feng T, Lee M, Asinovski N, Frohlich I, Imboywa S, Von Korff A, Okada Y, Patsopoulos NA, Davis S, McCabe C, Paik HI, Srivastava GP, Raychaudhuri S, Hafler DA, Koller D, Regev A, Hacohen N, Mathis D, Benoist C, Stranger BE, De Jager PL. Polarization of the effects of autoimmune and neurodegenerative risk alleles in leukocytes. Science. 2014

Mostafavi S, Battle A, Zhu X, Urban AE, Levinson D, Montgomery SB, Koller D. Normalizing RNA-sequencing data by modeling hidden covariates with prior knowledge. PLoS One. 2013

Mostafavi S, Goldenberg A, Morris Q. Labeling nodes using three degrees of propagation. PLoS One. 2012

Mostafavi S, Morris Q. Combining many interaction networks to predict gene function and analyze gene lists. Proteomics. 2012 (Review article).

Mostafavi S, Morris Q. Fast integration of heterogeneous data sources for predicting gene function with limited annotation. Bioinformatics. 2010