Sonia Tarazona

Applied Statistics and Operations Research and Quality, Universitat Politècnica de València

Sonia Tarazona is an Associate Professor at the Applied Statistics and Operations Research and Quality at the Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV), where she has been teaching statistics for more than 15 years. She co-leads the Genomics of Gene Expression Group (GGE) together with Dr. Ana Conesa since July 2018 although she has been part of the group since 2008. She also belongs to the Multivariate Statistical Engineering Group (GIEM) at the UPV and is responsible for one of the research lines of this group: Statistical methods for omics sciences.

Sonia Tarazona started her research career in Bioinformatics in 2008 under the supervision of Dr. Ana Conesa at Centro de Investigación Príncipe Felipe in València (CIPF). She worked at the CIPF until 2019, when she became a full-time lecturer at the UPV. In 2014, Sonia got her PhD in Statistics and Optimization at the Technical University of Valencia (Cum Laude) with International Mention, co-supervised by Dr. Ana Conesa and Dr. Alberto Ferrer. The title of her thesis was "Statistical Methods for Transcriptomics: From microarrays to RNA-seq", which got the Extraordinary Thesis Award at the UPV.

Sonia has participated in different national and international research projects studying gene expression to understand functional aspects of genes and their regulators at the genome-wide level, and its relationship with the phenotype: different diseases or treatments, differentiation or developmental stages, etc. Her main role was the application and development of statistical methods and algorithms to analyze omic data sets obtained with different technologies: microarrays, RNA-seq, ChIP-seq, DNase-seq, smallRNA-seq, Methyl-seq, etc. Her statistical and mathematical background has been essential to succeed in this type of analysis and her research has resulted so far in over 40 publications in this field and many contributions in national and international conferences. Moreover, one of the goals of GGE group is to implement the developed methodologies in user-friendly and freely accessible software, so Sonia has contributed to the development of different tools such as R/Bioconductor NOISeq or MultiBaC packages, or Qualimap or PaintOmics software tools, among others. The usage of these methods and tools has been demonstrated to the end users at more than 10 international courses.

As a senior researcher, Sonia has supervised 12 final year projects, 10 Final Master Thesis, and 4 PhD thesis. She is currently supervising 3 final year projects, 3 Final Master Thesis and 6 PhD thesis. Her research is currently focused on the development of statistical strategies for the integration of different omic data types such as gene expression, miRNAs expression, methylation, chromatin accessibility, etc. in order to better understand the regulatory mechanisms of gene expression. Related to this research line, she is IP of a national project and a European project.