Iva graduated from Illinois Tech’s 4+1 BS/MS program in biology and computer science with flying colors, securing an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship in the process. When not juggling classes, a TA position, and various extracurricular activities, Iva spent most of her time in the lab generating high-throughput sequencing data and analyzing it, often using tools of her own design. Iva will be pursuing her PhD at the University of Chicago.


Iva Veseli

Mimi, an undergraduate in Applied Math, worked in the lab in the summer of 2017 as a research assistant. Margaret’s work was focused on implementing a novel reciprocity-based approach for the identification of protein functions, using a hidden Mardov model (HMM) framework. In the process, she managed to learn Perl quickly to sift through the piles of data to be analyzed.


Margaret Hoeller

Jahna pursued the 4+1 BSc+MSc accelerated track at IIT, earning her MSc degree in Biology in August 2015. In her thesis “Comparative genomics of Streptococcus salivarius ATCC 27945 and 25975; from helpful to harmful?”, Jahna sequenced the complete genomes of two distinct strains from an important commensal bacteria of the oral microbiome. First of the PI students here at IIT, Jahna was somehow able to make the PI look sane for (very) short periods of time.


Jahna Soomer-James

Chenling pursued his Master thesis in computational genomics. In addition to our regular work on prokaryotic organisms and microbiomes, Chenling was particularly interested in the best processes and practices to reconstruct genomes from hybrid sequencing data originating from complementary technologies.


Chenling Tang

Sajil volunteered in the lab during his MS degree, helping with various tasks. In particular, Sajil was an excellent protocol troubleshooter. When not busy purifying DNA or troubleshooting cell cultures, Sajil was found honing his Bioinformatics skills.


Sajil Patel

Biaobiao did his Master in computational genomics with a focus on various prokaryotic organisms from diverse microbiomes. In addition to bacterial culturing, DNA extraction and sequencing, Biaobiao’s work included genome assembly, genome annotation, and relevant downstream computational analyses.


Biaobiao Peng

Ruili, also known as Jerry, is pursuing his Master’s thesis in computational genomics with a focus on bacterial species from the Staphylococcus genera. With his lab work now completed, Ruili is wrapping up his thesis while working for a sequencing company in California.


Ruili Jie

Rob is a cell culture/molecular biology expert, a computational genomicist and a Perl aficionado. Before pursuing his PhD, Rob worked for 7 years as a research assistant at Caltech. Recipient of the 2016 Fieldhouse Research Fellowship, Rob worked on various foodborne pathogens in collaboration with the Institute for Food Safety and Health (IFSH). Rob completed his PhD at end of 2016 and is now applying his skills towards numerous scientific challenges.


Robert R. Butler III

Andrew worked in the lab in the summer of 2017 part time as a research assistant. During his tenure in the lab, Andrew set up prototype pipelines for the 3D folding structure prediction of proteins, expanding his knowledge of the Linux architecture and Perl programming in the process.


Andrew Adams

Jingyi pursued her MSc thesis at IIT in collaboration with Dr Richard Ree at Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History, where she worked most of the time. In her thesis accepted in August 2015 and titled “Complete plastid genome of the hemiparasitic plant Pedicularis rex”, Jingyi assembled, annotated and analyzed the chloroplast genome of P. rex featuring a moderate level of RNA editing. Jingyi is a fantastic photographer and many of the pictures on this website originate from her camera.


Jingyi Yang

Juliano was a Master student in Dr Karen Luisa Haag's lab at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul in Porto Alegre (RS, Brazil). Juliano somehow accepted the PI’s invitation to pursue part of our collaborative work here in Chicago during the winter, from January to March 2016. When not shivering and/or hoping for temporary localized global warming, Juliano was learning the ropes of computational genomics for his microsporidian project. He is now back to warmer climes, working from abroad.


Juliano de Oliveira Silveira

Shadi is a career programmer/computational biologist experienced in Java, Java 3D and Python languages with over fifteen years of experience in IT infrastructure/consulting and over nine years of experience in wet lab environments, including bench work at Gelita and Ecolab. In the lab, he was running tridimentional protein folding computations. Shadi is now pursuing other computational endeavors here at Illinois Tech.

Shadi Beidas

Fan interned in the lab during his MS degree, coding various Perl scripts to improve his proficiency with this programming language. He was also looking to increase his familiarity with Unix/Linux operating systems.


Fan Zhao

Ali is a Bioinformatics major at IIT passionate about teaching biology, computer science, and physics. Ali’s combined interest in genetics and computer science has led him to the Pombert Lab, where his research focuses on creating data visualization tools using existing and novel approaches to help better analyze the vast amount of data tied to the field. He hopes to one day bring his talents to the medical field to help improve human health by integrating computer science and medicine.

BS candidate

Ali Mahmoud