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Lorin Crawford

1 February 2020 217 views No Comment

Lorin Crawford

Affiliation: RGSS Assistant Professor of Biostatistics, Brown University
Educational Background: BS, Mathematics, Clark Atlanta University; PhD, Duke University

Lorin Crawford is the RGSS Assistant Professor of Biostatistics and a core faculty member of the Center for Statistical Sciences and Center for Computational Molecular Biology at Brown University. The central aim of his lab group is to build machine learning algorithms and statistical tools that aid in the understanding of how nonlinear interactions between genetic features affect the architecture of complex traits and contribute to disease etiology. An overarching theme of the research done in the Crawford lab is to take modern computational approaches and develop theory that enable their interpretations to be related to classical genomic principles. Crawford’s most recent work has earned him a place on Forbes 30 Under 30, recognition as a member of The Root 100 Most Influential African Americans in 2019, and the awarding of an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship.

Crawford is originally from Chino Hills, California. Before joining Brown and beginning a career in academia, he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from Clark Atlanta University as a Provost Academic Excellence Scholar. It was during the writing of his honors thesis on semigroup theory that Crawford decided he no longer wanted to work on strictly pure math problems and instead wanted to focus on interdisciplinary research with more immediate real-world applications. This led him to apply to Duke University, where he would go on to earn his PhD from the department of statistical science as both a Dean’s Graduate Fellow and an NSF Graduate Research Fellow.

While at Duke, Crawford was co-advised by Sayan Mukherjee (statistical science) and Kris C. Wood (pharmacology and cancer biology). Their guidance and willing transparency were instrumental in Crawford’s development as an independent scientist. In 2017, he completed his PhD dissertation, titled “Bayesian Kernel Models for Statistical Genetics and Cancer Genomics.” This dissertation was awarded the Leonard J. Savage Award in Applied Methodology from the International Society for Bayesian Analysis.

Today, Crawford’s lab is a true reflection of his academic journey and includes a mixture of postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and undergraduate researchers in applied math, biostatistics, computational biology, and computer science. To him, the most rewarding part of his job is having the unique opportunity to mentor people with such diverse skill sets, thought patterns, and social backgrounds.

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