Saonli Basu, PhD

Professor, Division of Biostatistics

Saonli Basu

Contact Info

Office Phone 612-624-2135

Office Address:
A454-3 Mayo

Mailing Address:
420 Delaware St. SE
MMC 303
Minneapolis, MN 55455

PhD, Statistics, University of Washington

MStat, Indian Statistical Institute

BS, Statistics, Presidency College


The focus of my research is developing statistical methodologies for genetic mapping of complex traits. In particular, I am interested in rare variant association, gene-environment interaction modeling in longitudinal family studies. My general interest includes computational statistics, nonparametric inferences and their application in different areas of statistical genomics.


Genetics, statistical modeling, association mapping, detection of rare variants, multi-omic data analysis

Awards & Recognition

  • Member, Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health

Professional Associations

  • American Statistical Association
  • International Biometric Society
  • International Genetic Epidemiology Society
  • Caucus for Women in Statistics
  • International Indian Statistical Association


Research Summary/Interests

Currently I am working on modeling association between multiple variants (both rare and common) and single or multiple traits in case-control/cohort or in family studies. My collaborative work involves addressing statistical issues in pedigree-based or cohort-based genome-wide association studies. I have developed and applied my methods to a variety of diseases, including type 2 diabetes, Alzheimers, kidney allograft rejection, substance abuse, venous thrombosis, and graft-versus-host disease post hematopoetic stem cell transplant.

Research Funding Grants

  • 5/13–4/17, NIH, "Statistical methods for detection of genome-wide GxE interactions in longitudinal studies," Principal Investigator
  • 3/08–6/17, NIH National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, "Epidemiology of Venous Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism," Co-Investigator
  • Cancer Center Support Grant, University of Minnesota Masonic Cancer Center, Member of the Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Shared Resource


See a full list of my publications on PubMed

Select Recent Publications

  • Ray D, Basu S (2017). "A Novel Association Test for Multiple Secondary Phenotypes from a Case-Control GWAS." Genetic Epidemiology (to appear).
  • Coombes B, Basu S, McGue M (2017). "A combination test for detection of gene-environment interaction in cohort studies." Genetic Epidemiology (to appear).
  • Ray D, Pankow, JS, Basu S. (2016). "USAT: A Uni ed Score-Based Association Test for Multiple Phenotype-Genotype Analysis." Genetic Epidemiology. Vol 40(1): 20-34.
  • Coombes B, Basu S, Guha S, Schork N (2015), "Weighted Score Tests Implementing Model-Averaging Schemes in Detection of Rare Variants in Case-Control Studies." PLoS One; doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0139355.


Teaching Areas

I am the director of graduate studies for the Division of Biostatistics and serve on committees for master's and doctoral students. 


  • PubH 6450, Biostatistics I
  • PubH 8445, Statistics in Human Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • PubH 8452, Advanced Longitudinal Data Analysis