Robert Gentleman (statistician)

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Robert Clifford Gentleman
Born 1959 (age 57–58)[citation needed]
Institutions Genentech
University of Washington
Harvard University
The University of Auckland
Alma mater University of Washington
University of British Columbia
Thesis Exploratory methods for censored data (1988)
Doctoral advisor John James Crowley[1]
Doctoral students Beiying Ding[2]
Denise Scholtens[3]
Alain C. Vandal [4]
Known for R (programming language)
Notable awards Benjamin Franklin Award (Bioinformatics)

Robert Clifford Gentleman (born 1959) is a Canadian statistician and bioinformatician[5] currently vice president of computational biology at 23andMe.[6][7] He is recognized, along with Ross Ihaka, as one of the originators of the R programming language [8][9] and the Bioconductor project.[10][11][12]


Gentleman was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from the University of British Columbia.[6] He was awarded a Ph.D. degree in Statistics from University of Washington in 1988; his thesis title was Exploratory methods for censored data.[13]


Gentleman worked as a statistics professor at The University of Auckland in the mid 1990s, where he developed the R programming language alongside Ross Ihaka.[8][14] In 2001, he started work on the Bioconductor project to promote the development of open-source tools for bioinformatics and computational biology. In 2009, Gentleman joined the Genentech biotechnology corporation, where he worked as a senior director in bioinformatics and computational biology.[15][16][dead link] Gentleman joined personal genomics and biotechnology company 23andMe as vice president in April 2015,[6] with the goal of bringing expertise on bioinformatics and computational drug discovery to the company.[7] Gentleman has also served on the board of the statistical software company Revolution Analytics (formerly known as REvolution Computing).[14]


Gentleman won the Benjamin Franklin Award in 2008, recognising his work on the R programming language, the Bioconductor project and his commitment to data and methods sharing.[17] He was made a Fellow of the International Society for Computational Biology in 2014 for his contribution to computational biology and bioinformatics.[18]


  1. ^ Robert Gentleman at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  2. ^ Ding, Beiying (2004). Methods for analyzing high dimensional data: Classification, measurement error model and graph based association measures, with applications to microarray data (PhD thesis). Harvard University. 
  3. ^ Scholtens, Denise Marie (2004). Studies in multidimensional data: Estimation of the bivariate survival curve, analysis of factorial designed microarray experiments, identification of protein complex membership (PhD thesis). Harvard University. 
  4. ^ Vandal, Alain C. (1999). Order theory and nonparametric analysis for interval censored data (PhD thesis). University of Auckland. 
  5. ^ Gentleman, R. (2005). "Reproducible Research: A Bioinformatics Case Study". Statistical Applications in Genetics and Molecular Biology. 4. doi:10.2202/1544-6115.1034. 
  6. ^ a b c "Bioinformatics Pioneer Robert Gentleman, Ph.D., Joins 23andMe Leadership Team". Retrieved 10 August 2015. 
  7. ^ a b "Robert Gentleman on His Goals for Drug Discovery at 23andMe". Retrieved 10 August 2015. 
  8. ^ a b Ihaka, R.; Gentleman, R. (1996). "R: A Language for Data Analysis and Graphics". Journal of Computational and Graphical Statistics. 5 (3): 299–314. JSTOR 1390807. doi:10.2307/1390807. 
  9. ^ Ashlee Vance (6 January 2009). "R, the Software, Finds Fans in Data Analysts -". New York Times. Retrieved 17 April 2011. 
  10. ^ Gentleman, R. C.; Carey, V. J.; Bates, D. M.; Bolstad, B.; Dettling, M.; Dudoit, S.; Ellis, B.; Gautier, L.; Ge, Y.; Gentry, J.; Hornik, K.; Hothorn, T.; Huber, W.; Iacus, S.; Irizarry, R.; Leisch, F.; Li, C.; Maechler, M.; Rossini, A. J.; Sawitzki, G.; Smith, C.; Smyth, G.; Tierney, L.; Yang, J. Y.; Zhang, J. (2004). "Bioconductor: Open software development for computational biology and bioinformatics". Genome Biology. 5 (10): R80. PMC 545600Freely accessible. PMID 15461798. doi:10.1186/gb-2004-5-10-r80. 
  11. ^ Robert Gentleman at DBLP Bibliography Server
  12. ^ List of publications from Microsoft Academic Search
  13. ^ Gentleman, Robert Clifford (1988). Exploratory methods for censored data (PhD thesis). University of Washington. 
  14. ^ a b Wolfson, Wendy. "A Bioinformatics Chief and a Gentleman". Retrieved 10 August 2015. 
  15. ^ Gaudet, P.; Bairoch, A.; Field, D.; Sansone, S. -A.; Taylor, C.; Attwood, T. K.; Bateman, A.; Blake, J. A.; Bult, C. J.; Cherry, J. M.; Chisholm, R. L.; Cochrane, G.; Cook, C. E.; Eppig, J. T.; Galperin, M. Y.; Gentleman, R.; Goble, C. A.; Gojobori, T.; Hancock, J. M.; Howe, D. G.; Imanishi, T.; Kelso, J.; Landsman, D.; Lewis, S. E.; Karsch Mizrachi, I.; Orchard, S.; Ouellette, B. F. F.; Ranganathan, S.; Richardson, L.; Rocca-Serra, P. (2011). "Towards BioDBcore: A community-defined information specification for biological databases". Database. 2011: baq027–baq027. PMC 3017395Freely accessible. PMID 21205783. doi:10.1093/database/baq027. 
  16. ^ Robert C. Gentleman Senior Director: Bioinformatics & Computational Biology
  17. ^ "Benjamin Franklin Award -". Retrieved 10 December 2016. 
  18. ^ "ISCB Fellows". Retrieved 10 August 2015.