People

Nakhleh Lab
Luay Nakhleh, principal investigator. Luay received a BSc degree in Computer Science from the Technion (Israel) in 1996, a Master's degree in Computer Science from Texas A&M University in 1998, and a PhD degree in Computer Science from UT Austin in May 2004 (Advisor: Prof. Tandy Warnow). Luay joined the Computer Science department at Rice University as an Assistant Professor in July 2004, and was promoted to Associate Professor, with tenure, effective July 2010. While at Rice, he has received the DOE CAREER award in 2006, the NSF CAREER award in 2009, the Phi Beta Kappa Teaching award in 2009, the Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship in 2010, and a Guggenheim Fellowhip in 2012. In addition to his numerous awards, his work has been funded by two NIH R01 grants, three NSF grants (including a SGER award), and internal funding from Rice University.
Hyun Jung (Justin) Park, computer science Ph.D. student. Justin is a fifth-year graduate student at Rice University in the Computer Science Department. He received a B.S. in computer science from Yonsei University, South Korea, and a masters degree in computer science from Texas A&M University, under the direction of Dr. Tiffani L. Williams. He is currently working on reconstructing phylogenetic networks under the DLT model. His research interests also include phylogenetics, population genetics, and biological network analysis.
Yun Yu, computer science Ph.D. student. Yun is a second year graduate student in computer science department in Rice University. Before joining Rice University, she received a B.S. in Computer Science from Shanghai JiaoTong University in China in 2005.
Kevin Liu, (Former Postdoc in the Nakhleh lab) Currently Assistant Professor, Michigan State University. Kevin's research creates new computational methodologies for efficient and accurate comparative genomic analyses especially in the context of complex evolutionary scenarios and then connects the resulting insights to phenotype and function. The end goal of Kevin's big-data-driven approach is to generate hypotheses that result in new biological and biomedical discoveries.
Jingxuan Dai, Undergraduate student, Nakhleh lab.
Kathy Truong, Undergraduate student, Nakhleh lab.
Nikola Ristic, Former master's student, Nakhleh lab.
Matt Barnett, Former master's student, Nakhleh lab.


Warnow Lab
Tandy Warnow, principal investigator. Tandy received her Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1991. She joined the Department of Computer Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania in 1993, and in 1999 she joined the Department of Computer Sciences at the University of Texas, where she was the David Bruton, Jr. Centennial Professor in Computer Science. She is now at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she is the Founder Professor of Bioengineering and Computer Science. Tandy has received numerous awards including the NSF NYI (Young Investigator Award) in 1994-2000, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation Fellowship in 1996-2001, the Radcliffe Fellowship in 2003-2004, and a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in 2011.
Siavash Mirarab, computer science Ph.D. student. Siavash Mirarab completed his B.S. in Computer Engineering at University of Tehran (Iran), and his M.S. in Computer Engineering at the University of Waterloo (Canada). He is currently working with Prof. Tandy Warnow at UT Austin on multiple sequence alignment, phylogenetics, and meta-genomics. He is interested in developing new algorithms and software for analyzing large scale datasets, considering gene duplication, lineage sorting, and reticulate evolution. In this context, he is mostly interested in finding ways of scaling up statistical approaches so that they can run on large datasets. He is a recipient of NSERC post-graduate doctoral scholarship.
Nam-phuong Nguyen, computer science Ph.D. student. Nam Nguyen completed his B.S. in math and computer science at the University of Utah, his M.S. in computer science at the University of Utah, and his PhD at U.T. Austin with Tandy Warnow. In the Warnow lab, Nam's research focused on phylogenetics, metagenomics, and supertree methods. He is now a postdoc at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign with Dr. Becky Stumpf.
Md. Shamsuzzoha Bayzid , computer science Ph.D. student. Bayzid received his B.S and M.S in Computer Science and Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET). He is currently working with Prof. Tandy Warnow at UT Austin on estimating species trees from gene trees. He is interested in developing novel algorithmic approaches to solve different discrete optimization problems on species tree estimation, considering gene duplication and losses, deep coalescence, horizontal gene transfer etc. He is receiving a Fulbright International Science and Technology Ph.D. Award.
Ruth Davidson, math and computer science postdoctoral fellow. Ruth completed her B.S. in math at the University of Washington, and her PhD in math at North Carolina State University where she focused on mathematical phylogenetics and applied geometric combinatorics. She is now an NSF postdoctoral fellow with Tandy Warnow at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Rosenberg Lab
Noah Rosenberg, principal investigator. Noah received his B.A. in mathematics from Rice University in 1997, his M.S. in mathematics from Stanford University in 1999, and his Ph.D. in biology from Stanford University in 2001. He completed his postdoctoral fellowship in the molecular and computational biology group at the University of Southern California. From 2005-2011, Noah was on the faculty of the University of Michigan in the Departments of Human Genetics, Biostatistics, and Ecology & Evolutionary Biology. In July 2011, he joined the faculty of the Department of Biology at Stanford University.
Erkan Buzbas, postdoc. Erkan received his M.S. in statistics and Ph.D. in bioinformatics and computational biology from the University of Idaho, where he was a student with Paul Joyce. Erkan is a Bayesian statistician and computational biologist interested in balancing selection, approximate Bayesian computation, and inference problems in theoretical population genetics.
Laura Helmkamp, biostatistics M.S. student. Laura Helmkamp completed her B.S. in mathematics and chemistry at the University of Florida. Her current work focuses on evaluating the statistical properties of algorithms that use gene trees to estimate species trees.
Ethan Jewett, biology Ph.D. student. Ethan Jewett completed his B.A. in physics at Reed College, and his M.S. in applied and interdisciplinary mathematics at the Univesity of Michigan. He is currently working on gene trees and species trees, and on methods for estimating population divergence times. Other interests include applications of genealogical modeling to study populations of cells within a single organism.
Naama Kopelman, environmental studies Ph.D. student. Naama completed her B.Sc. in biology and computer science at Tel Aviv University and her M.S. in bioinformatics at the Weizmann Institute of Science. Her M.S. thesis investigated the relationship between gene duplication and alternative splicing. Naama's current work focuses on genetic relationships among Jewish populations, and on algorithms for examining genetic admixture. Her Ph.D. program is at the Porter School of Environmental Studies, Tel Aviv University.
Cuong Than, human genetics postdoc. Cuong received his B.S. in computer science from Hanoi University of Technology in 2003, and his Ph.D., also in computer science, from Rice University in 2009. His current research is in the areas of bioinformatics and phylogenetics. He is also interested in combinatorics, graph and combinatorial algorithms, and computational complexity theory.


Linder Lab
Randal Linder, principal investigator. Randy received his B.A. from St. John's College in 1982, his M.S. from Cornell University in 1987, and his Ph.D. from Brown University in 1994. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Indiana University at Bloomington. Randy has been on the faculty at the University of Texas at Austin in the Section of Integrative Biology since 1996.


Syring Lab
John Syring, principal investigator. John received his B.S. in Natural Resources from the University of Michigan in 1996, his M.S. in Resource Ecology and Management from the University of Michigan in 2000, and his Ph.D. in molecular systematics from Oregon State University in 2006. He was was an assistant professor of Plant Systematics at Montana State University at Billings from 2006 to 2008 and he has been on the Faculty at Linfield College since 2008.
Last updated 9/3/2014