Jeffrey Townsend, PhD

Associate Professor of Public Health (Biostatistics) and of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; Director of Bioinformatics, Yale Center for Analytical Sciences

Departments & Organizations

Cancer Center, Yale: Cancer Genetics & Genomics

Office of Student Research

School of Public Health: Biostatistics

Yale Combined Program in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences (BBS): Computational Biology and Bioinformatics: Computational Approaches to Functional and Integrative Genomics | Microbiology: Molecular Genetics


Professor Townsend received his Ph.D. in 2002 in organismic and evolutionary biology from Harvard University, under the advisement of Daniel Hartl. His Ph.D. was entitled "Population genetic variation in genome-wide gene expression: modeling, measurement, and analysis", and constituted the first population genetic analysis of genome-wide gene expression variation. After making use of the model budding yeast S. cerevisiae for his Ph.D. research, Dr. Townsend accepted an appointment as a Miller Fellow at the University of California-Berkeley in the Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, where he worked to develop molecular tools, techniques, and analysis methodologies for functional genomics studies with the filamentous fungal model species Neurospora crassa, co-advised by Berkeley fungal evolutionary biologist John Taylor and molecular mycologist Louise Glass. In 2004, he accepted his first appointment as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of Connecticut. In 2006 he was appointed as an Assistant Professor the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Yale University, and in 2013 he was appointed as an Associate Professor of Biostatistics in the Yale School of Public Health.

Education & Training

PhD Harvard University (2002)
ScD Brown University (1994)
Miller Postdoctoral Fellw University of California, Berkeley

Honors & Recognition

  • Young Investigator's PrizeAmerican Society of Naturalists (2005)

  • Ph.D. Thesis ranked among the Top Four Life Science ThesesCouncil of Graduate Schools (2002)

  • Walter M. Fitch Prize for Best Young InvestigatorSociety for Molecular Biology and Evolution (2001)

Professional Service

  • Faculty Advisor Yale College Road Runners (2008)

International Activity

  • Ebolavirus sequence analysis and epidemic modeling Freetown, Sierra Leone (2014 - 2015)

    Using Ebolavirus genomic and epidemiological data, we are conducting joint analyses of both data types to fit dynamic transmission models for the major Ebolavirus outbreak in Sierra Leone. Our analysis evaluates the degree of underreporting of disease cases, and the degree of social clustering of...

  • Yaws Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo (2012)

    Dynamic mathematical modeling predicting treatment necessary for eradication of Yaws

  • Human Hookworm Zanzibar, Tanzania (2011)

    Dynamic mathematical modeling evaluating the efficacy of treatment of Human Hookworm Infection

  • Antibiotic resistance Tromso, Norway (2010 - 2014)

    Evaluate trace antibiotics in the environment as an environmental toxin

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Contact Info

Jeffrey Townsend, PhD
Lab Location
Laboratory of Epidemiology and Public Health
60 College Street, Ste 7th Floor

New Haven, CT 06510
Office Location
135 College Street, Fl Floor 2 Ste Suite 200 Rm Room 222
New Haven, CT 06510
Mailing Address
135 College St, Room 222
New Haven, CT 06510-2483

Townsend Lab