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Andrew N. McDavid, Ph.D.

Contact Information

Phone Numbers

Office: (585) 275-5983

Research Labs

Faculty Appointments


Professional Background

I received my PhD in Statistics in June, 2016 from the University of Washington. From 2006-2011, I worked as a systems analyst in a genomics lab at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, where I experienced the dawn and sunset of array-based genome-wide association studies. Until I came to Rochester, I had only known the west coast, growing up in the suburbs of Seattle, then attending Pomona College in southern California to receive my BA in mathematics in 2006.


I am interested in methods and applications of single cell gene expression assays. There is great hope, for good reason, that measuring expression profiles in single cells will aid in immunological and cancer research, and provide new insight in cellular biology (though it still only provides a cross-sectional sample of cells at various points in their lifespan and cell cycle.) However, the biochemical, computational and statistical challenges are sizable.

I am focusing on the combinations of all three. Through the use of unique molecular identifiers, it may be possible to better understand the biases and sources of variability current protocols introduce. I write R software to allow easier manipulation of single-cell data sets (which are sometimes almost as "tall" as they are "wide"). I develop statistical methods that accommodate the bimodality of single cell data, which yield more sensitive and better calibrated tests.

Statistical questions I am currently interested in include:
Graphical modeling and gene-gene interaction networks
Clustering and distance measures for zero-inflated data
Gene-enrichment analysis
Borrowing strength and regularizing vector generalized linear models through empirical Bayes' procedures
2nd-order univariate phenomena, such as exceptional stability or heterogeneity of expression (and how this can be identified given differing levels of technical variability).


Journal Articles

Ingalls MH, Hollomon AJ, Newlands SD, McDavid AN, Ovitt CE. "Intrinsic mitotic activity supports the human salivary gland acinar cell population." FEBS letters.. 2019 Sep 20; Epub 2019 Sep 20.

Caserta MT, Yang H, Bandyopadhyay S, Qiu X, Gill SR, Java J, McDavid A, Falsey AR, Topham DJ, Holden-Wiltse J, Scheible K, Pryhuber G. "Measuring the Severity of Respiratory Illness in the First 2 Years of Life in Preterm and Term Infants." The Journal of pediatrics.. 2019 Jul 31; Epub 2019 Jul 31.

McDavid A, Gottardo R, Simon N, Drton M. "GRAPHICAL MODELS FOR ZERO-INFLATED SINGLE CELL GENE EXPRESSION." The annals of applied statistics.. 2019 Jun 0; 13(2):848-873. Epub 2019 Jun 17.