I was born in Naples, Italy, and grew up in and around Rome. I received a Laurea (cum laude) in Statistic and Economic Sciences from the University of Rome La Sapienza, where I worked with Giovanni Dosi on a thesis titled Processes of Microeconomic Innovation and Macroeconomic Dynamics. After moving to the US, I received a Ph.D. in Statistics from the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, MN), where I worked with R. Dennis Cook on a thesis titled A Reduction Paradigm for Multivariate Laws.
At Penn State, I am a Professor of Statistics (and of Public Health Sciences by courtesy), a member of the Center for Comparative Genomics and Bioinformatics and of the Center for Medical Genomics, and the director of the Genomics Institute (one of the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences). Other academic institutions where I spent time over the years include the Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics of UCLA, the Courant Institute and the Department of Biology of New York University, the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (Laxenburg, Austria) and the Santa Fe Institute (Santa Fe, New Mexico).