Peter J. Tonellato, PhD
Joseph Zilber School of Public Health Building, Room 272
Curriculum Vitae [pdf]
PhD, Applied Mathematics, University of Arizona
Doctoral work, visiting, Mathematical and Life Sciences, Hiroshima University
Doctoral work, visiting, Mathematics Institute, University of Oxford
MS, Applied Mathematics, University of Arizona
BS Mathematics, University of Puget Sound
Professor, Zilber School of Public Health, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee
Professor, College of Engineering & Applied Science, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee
Director, Laboratory for Personalized Medicine (LPM), Harvard Medical School
Senior Research Scientist, Center for Biomedical Informatics, Harvard Medical School
Interests & Expertise
Professor Tonellato supports collaborative research programs with the Zilber School of Public Health (ZSPH) and affiliated faculty, and implements public health biomedical informatics courses to compliment the ZSPH PhD programs. Dr. Tonellato's Laboratory for Public Health Informatics and Genomics (LPHIG) develops mathematical models, simulations and predictions that address fundamental public health questions and opportunities that emerge from the use and promise of new discoveries in genetics, gene-environment interactions, translational research, and personalized medicine. Dr. Tonellato's most recent work includes the creation of 'clinical avatars' used to simulate realistic patient populations and provide a collection of electronic medical records used to test the efficacy of genetic data, accuracy of predictive algorithms, and to conduct clinical trial simulations. Dr. Tonellato has established the first biomedical research lab to deploy and manage allcomputational systems and services 'on the cloud' implemented on Amazon's AWS environment.
Dr. Tonellato also as the director of the Laboratory for Personalized Medicine (LPM) at the Center for Biomedical Informatics, Harvard Medical School (lpm.hms.harvard.edu) leads cutting-edge efforts to develop strategies, methods, bioinformatic tools, and analyses to study and test the accuracy and clinical efficacy of genetic discoveries and accelerate their translation to practical clinical use. The LPM designs and executes insilico experiments to explore and solve barriers to translation from discovery to clinical use.
Teaching & Research Statement
Professor Tonellato has conducted research in the application of mathematics to physiological and genetic basic research in hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Past research includes development of the rat genome database, participation in core bioinformatics programs such as the Gene Ontology program. He is now focused on the development and use of novel methods to facilitate the translation of new genetic discoveries into the health care environment and its' impact on public health.
Active research areas:
- Exploration of the analysis and simulation of studies testing the efficacy of pharmacogenetic treatments in diverse populations;
- Efficacy of genetic testing in breast cancer prevention;
- Examination and quantification of potential health disparity in personalized medicine.
As a faculty member in the School of Public Health and the College of Engineering & Applied Science and also a member of the medical informatics PhD program's Steering Committee, Dr. Tonellato teaches courses and conducts educational programs in bioinformatics and clinical informatics, and participates in program and course development across the school's curricula. Including:
- Toxico-onomics and Bioinformatics: Advanced scientific principles of genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics, their Bioinformatics systematics, and applications to understanding the environmental and genetic determinants of disease.
- Introduction to Health Informatics: An introduction to the history, theory, applications, and organizational context of health informatics.
- Legal, Ethical and Social Issues in Health Informatics: An introduction to the legal, ethical and social issues arising in the use of health care computer-based technology and information systems.
- Introduction to Public Health Bioinformatics
- Methods of Medical Health Informatics
- Mathematical Modeling and Simulations in Public Health Research
Stoll M, Cowley AW Jr, Tonellato PJ, Greene AS, Kaldunski ML, Roman RJ, Dumas P, Schork NJ, Wang Z, Jacob HJ. A genomic-systems biology map for cardiovascular function. Science 294:1723-26, 2001.
Twigger S, Lu J, Shimoyama M, Chen D, Pasko D, Long H, Ginster J, Chen CF, Nigam R, Kwitek-Black A, Eppig J, Maltais L, Maglott D, Schuler G, Jacob H, Tonellato PJ. Rat Genome Database (RGD) -- mapping disease onto the genome. Nucleic Acids Research 30:125-28, 2002.
Kendziorski CM, Cowley AW Jr, Greene AS, Salgado HC, Jacob HJ, Tonellato PJ. Mapping baroreceptor function to genome: a mathematical modeling approach. Genetics 160:1687-95, 2002.
Twigger SN, Nie J, Ruotti V, Yu J, Chen D, Li D, Mathis J, Narayanasamy V, Gopinath GR, Pasko D, Shimoyama M, De La Cruz N, Bromberg S, Kwitek AE, Jacob HJ, Tonellato PJ. Integrative genomics: in silico coupling of rat physiology and complex traits with mouse and human data. Genome Res. 2004 Apr; 14 (4):651-60
Indap AR, Marth GT, Struble CA, Tonellato P, Olivier M. Analysis of concordance of different haplotype block partitioning algorithms. BMC Bioinformatics. 2005 Dec 15;6:303
Kwitek AE, Jacob H, Baker J, Dwinell M, Forster H, Greene A, Kunert M, Lombard J, Mattson D, Pritchard K, Roman R, Tonellato PJ, and Cowley AW. BN phenome: detailed characterization of the cardiovascular, renal, and pulmonary systems of the sequenced rat. Physiol Genomics. 2006 Apr; 13:25
Genome Information Integration Project And H-Invitational 2, Yamasaki C, Murakami K, Fujii Y, Sato Y, et al. The H-Invitational Database (H-InvDB), a comprehensive annotation resource for human genes and transcripts. Nucleic Acids Res. 2008 Jan;36:D793-9. PMID: 18089548
Representative Funded Projects
Principal Investigator, "Guiding Warfarin Clinical Trial Design Using Pharmacogenetic Simulations," Research Growth Initiative, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 2012-2013
Principal Investigator, "Method for Prediction of Efficacy of Genetic-Based Prediction Models of Personalized Medicine with Clinical Avatars," NIH/NLM EUREKA (R01), 2009-2011
Principal Investigator, "Computational Algorithms for Clinical Genetics," Siemens-Partners Health Care Research Council for Clinical Research Award, 2008-2009
Co-Principal Investigator and Director of Bioinformatics Core, "General Clinical Research Center (GCRC)," NIH/NHGMS, 2002-2005
Principal Investigator, "The Rat Genome Database," NIH/NHLBI, 1999-2004
Principal Investigator, "Gene Ontology Consortium: Rat Genome Database GO," NIH/NHGRI, 2001-2003