Eran Halperin

Eran Halperin


Professor, Computer Science, Anesthesiology, Biomathematics, Human Genetics
Member, Bioinformatics GPB Home Area, Medical Informatics GPB Home Area

Research Interests

The research in our lab mainly focuses on the development of computational tools for the analysis of genetic data; we are mostly interested in the development of tools that enable and facilitate genetic and epigenetic studies of common complex diseases, such as cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, or cardiovascular diseases. These studies shed important light on the biological mechanisms of these diseases, and they will pave the way to improved diagnosis and a personalize treatment based on an individual’s genetics.

In more technical terms, we develop methods for the analysis of population genetics data (e.g., genome-wide association studies), epigenomics data (e.g., epigenome-wide association studies), and other omics data of populations. Our main motivation is the development of these methods in order to improve and facilitate studies of complex diseases. In our search for improved methodology we also consider general problems about the population. For example, we characterized methylation differences between men and women, we developed methods for the inference of ancestry from genomics data, we showed that ancestry is a key factor in choice of mates, we helped characterizing the history of the Jewish people based on population genetic data, and we explore the potential risks for privacy when DNA data is shared in public databases.

In addition, we collaborate with groups around the world in order to study specific diseases. Particularly, we have been working on genetic and epigenetic studies of Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, leukemia, age relaetd macular degeneration, rheumatoid arthritis, coronary artery disease, myocardial infarction (heart attack), and other cardiovascular measurements.


Dr. Eran Halperin is a professor in the departments of Computer Science, Computational Medicine, Anesthesiology, and Human Genetics. He is also the associate director of informatics in the Institute of Precision Health at UCLA and the co-director of the Computation Genomics Summer Institute at UCLA. Dr. Halperin received his Ph.D. in computer science from Tel-Aviv University. Prior to his current position, he held research and postdoctoral positions at the University of California, Berkeley, the International Computer Science Institute in Berkeley, Princeton University, and Tel-Aviv University.

Dr. Halperin is a computational biologist who develops statistical and computational methods for the analysis of human genetic and epigenetic variation in the context of complex human diseases. His group has developed methods and software that have been used by hundreds of researchers worldwide to understand the genetic causes of diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and breast cancer.

Dr. Halperin has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles across different disciplines such as human genetics, computational biology, and theoretical computer science. He received various honors for academic achievements, including the Rothschild Fellowship, the Technion-Juludan prize, and the Krill Prize.


A selected list of publications:
  • Rahmani Elior, Zaitlen Noah, Baran Yael, Eng Celeste, Hu Donglei, Galanter Joshua, Oh Sam, Burchard Esteban G, Eskin Eleazar, Zou James, Halperin Eran   Sparse PCA corrects for cell type heterogeneity in epigenome-wide association studies Nature methods, 2016; 13(5): 443-5.
  • Singmann Paula, Shem-Tov Doron, Wahl Simone, Grallert Harald, Fiorito Giovanni, Shin So-Youn, Schramm Katharina, Wolf Petra, Kunze Sonja, Baran Yael, Guarrera Simonetta, Vineis Paolo, Krogh Vittorio, Panico Salvatore, Tumino Rosario, Kretschmer Anja, Gieger Christian, Peters Annette, Prokisch Holger, Relton Caroline L, Matullo Giuseppe, Illig Thomas, Waldenberger Melanie, Halperin Eran   Characterization of whole-genome autosomal differences of DNA methylation between men and women Epigenetics & chromatin, 2015; 8(44): 43.
  • Zou James Y, Park Danny S, Burchard Esteban G, Torgerson Dara G, Pino-Yanes Maria, Song Yun S, Sankararaman Sriram, Halperin Eran, Zaitlen Noah   Genetic and socioeconomic study of mate choice in Latinos reveals novel assortment patterns Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2015; 112(44): 13621-6.
  • Gymrek Melissa, McGuire Amy L, Golan David, Halperin Eran, Erlich Yaniv   Identifying personal genomes by surname inference Science (New York, N.Y.), 2013; 339(6117): 321-4.
  • Yang Wen-Yun, Novembre John, Eskin Eleazar, Halperin Eran   A model-based approach for analysis of spatial structure in genetic data Nature genetics, 2012; 44(6): 725-31.
  • Efros Anatoly, Halperin Eran   Haplotype reconstruction using perfect phylogeny and sequence data BMC bioinformatics, 2012; 13 Suppl 6(10): S3.
  • Conde Lucia, Halperin Eran, Akers Nicholas K, Brown Kevin M, Smedby Karin E, Rothman Nathaniel, Nieters Alexandra, Slager Susan L, Brooks-Wilson Angela, Agana Luz, Riby Jacques, Liu Jianjun, Adami Hans-Olov, Darabi Hatef, Hjalgrim Henrik, Low Hui-Qi, Humphreys Keith, Melbye Mads, Chang Ellen T, Glimelius Bengt, Cozen Wendy, Davis Scott, Hartge Patricia, Morton Lindsay M, Schenk Maryjean, Wang Sophia S, Armstrong Bruce, Kricker Anne, Milliken Sam, Purdue Mark P, Vajdic Claire M, Boyle Peter, Lan Qing, Zahm Shelia H, Zhang Yawei, Zheng Tongzhang, Becker Nikolaus, Benavente Yolanda, Boffetta Paolo, Brennan Paul, Butterbach Katja, Cocco Pierluigi, Foretova Lenka, Maynadié Marc, de Sanjosé Silvia, Staines Anthony, Spinelli John J, Achenbach Sara J, Call Timothy G, Camp Nicola J, Glenn Martha, Caporaso Neil E, Cerhan James R, Cunningham Julie M, Goldin Lynn R, Hanson Curtis A, Kay Neil E, Lanasa Mark C, Leis Jose F, Marti Gerald E, Rabe Kari G, Rassenti Laura Z, Spector Logan G, Strom Sara S, Vachon Celine M, Weinberg J Brice, Holly Elizabeth A, Chanock Stephen, Smith Martyn T, Bracci Paige M, Skibola Christine F   Genome-wide association study of follicular lymphoma identifies a risk locus at 6p21.32 Nature genetics, 2010; 42(8): 661-4.
  • Sankararaman Sriram, Obozinski Guillaume, Jordan Michael I, Halperin Eran   Genomic privacy and limits of individual detection in a pool Nature genetics, 2009; 41(9): 965-7.