Chiara Sabatti

Associate Director, Data Science

Chiara grew up in Italy, where she attended to a very old-world high school (studying latin and greek…). She got a BS+MS in "Economics and Social Sciences" (DES) from the Bocconi University in Milan, where, among other things, she was schooled in the beauty of Bayesian Statistics. After trying out the US graduate school system for a semester at Brandeis, she came to Stanford in 1994 to pursue a PhD in Statistics, and has been in California ever since. Her graduate work was with Jun Liu on multiscale MCMC methods. She then went on to be a post-doctoral scholar with Neil Risch in the Department of Genetics, also at Stanford. In 2000 she joined the faculty at UCLA in the newly established departments of Human Genetics and Statistics. After 9 happy years in sunny southern California, she came back north with her family (which by now includes three Stanford alumni and a current undergraduate!). She is one of the founding members of the department of Biomedical Data Science and one of the associate directors of Stanford Data Science, as well as a professor of Statistics (her first love). 

Chiara's research is centered on the development of statistical methods that enable the exploration of high dimensional data. This entails both reducing computational barriers and ensuring that the results obtained by sifting through a large number of variables are reliable, reproducible, and robust. Her work is by nature interdisciplinary: she has enjoyed collaborating with neuroscientists, engineers, chemists, psychiatrists, oncologists, and more in her home institutions and around the globe. She is grateful that her background prepared her for this.

Living on the Stanford campus, it is easy for Chiara and her family to take advantage of the natural beauty of the area; they especially like to go sailing in the bay. On the boat, Chiara is very happy to relinquish all responsibilities beside sandwich making. At work, she draws energy from working with students and never turns down the opportunity for a philosophical chat.