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Bill Forrest - Principal Scientist, Bioinformatics & Computational Biology

Bill Forrest

Principal Scientist, Bioinformatics & Computational Biology

"Research at Genentech is an opportunity to learn continually in the course of pursuing new treatments for patients while advancing biotechnology and science."
Years at Genentech

I trained originally in statistics at the University of California, Berkeley, with Professor Terry Speed. From there, I transitioned to a postdoctoral position in Human Genetics at the University of Pittsburgh with Professor Eleanor Feingold. After joining Genentech, I worked for several years in the Nonclinical Biostatistics group on projects ranging across manufacturing and quality control, nonclinical aspects of early clinical development, and basic research.

In 2014, I transferred into Bioinformatics & Computational Biology and currently lead a group of statisticians working closely with research scientists to learn from the torrents of data generated across modern biology. Examples of my group’s efforts include devising metrics and software tools for quality control and analysis of genetic sequences from clinical samples, developing a framework for modeling signals from circulating tumor DNA to monitor cancer progression, identifying and characterizing opportunities in functional genomics for improvements in both technology and methodology, and developing summary measures and software tools deployed in online applications to automate recurring complex statistical analyses.

Featured Publication

Multiple-gene targeting and mismatch tolerance can confound analysis of genome-wide pooled CRISPR screens.

Genome Biol. 2019 Jan 25;20(1):21.

Fortin JP, Tan J, Gascoigne KE, Haverty PM, Forrest WF, Costa MR, Martin SE.