|Anne-Ruxandra Carvunis, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computational and Systems Biology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Born and raised in Paris, France, she received a BS in Biology/Biochemistry and a Masters in Molecular Neurosciences from Université Paris VI and the Ecole Normale Supérieure of Paris and a second Masters in Interdisciplinary Approaches to Life Sciences from Université Paris VII. She graduated with a Ph.D. in Bioinformatics from Université de Grenoble in 2011, having done most of her graduate research work on the mechanisms and dynamics of protein interaction network evolution in the Center for Cancer Systems Biology at Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School. After a brief postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Carvunis went on to study the evolution of transcriptional networks at the University of California, San Diego. She established an independent research group in Pittsburgh in December 2016 to study the molecular mechanisms of change and innovation in biological systems. Dr. Carvunis has received a number of distinctions including a Medal of honorable doctoral work, the national L’Oreal-Unesco Award for Women in Science, the NIH Pathway to Independence Award, the Searle Scholars award, the Trailblazer award from the Ladies Hospital Aid Society, the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, a Sloan Research Fellowship, the NSF CAREER award and the University of Pittsburgh Chancelor’s Distinguished Award for Research. anc201[at]pitt[dot]edu | CV|
|Omer Acar is a PhD student in the CMU-Pitt Joint Computational Biology program. Born in Turkey, Omer has an undergraduate degree in Materials Science and Engineering with Physics minor from Sabanci University, Istanbul. He worked as an undergraduate research assistant in MIDST Lab in Sabanci University on antibiotic resistance and related mutations on E. Coli. He joined The Carvunis Lab in December, 2017. oma21[at]pitt[dot]edu | website|
|Nelson Castilho Coelho is Senior Research Specialist in The Carvunis Lab. Born in Portugal, Nelson has an undergrad in Biochemistry and a Masters in Biotechnology both from University of Algarve. He first worked as research technician at the Institute for Molecular and Cell Biology (IBMC) and then as lab manager/research technician at the Centre of Marine Sciences (CCMAR) in Portugal and at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, USA. Before joining the Carvunis lab he was working as research assistant at the Institute of Genetics and Development of Rennes (IGDR) in France. Nelson likes to dedicate his free time to photography, running and baking. castilho[at]pitt[dot]edu|
|Lin Chou is a Ph.D. student in the Integrative Systems Biology program of the University of Pittsburgh Medical School. Lin has a broad interest in genomics and evolutionary biology. Lin received an undergraduate degree in Horticulture and Landscape Architecture from National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan. He worked as an undergraduate researcher and developed a high-throughput genotyping toolkit for crop breeders. After completing his undergraduate degree, he spent two and a half years at the Institute of Plant and Microbial Biology, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan, where he used next and third-generation sequencing data to study the genome evolution of symbiotic and pathogenic bacteria. He joined the Carvunis Lab in March 2021. lic130[at]pitt[dot]edu|
|Scott Chang is an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison pursuing a double Bachelor’s of Science in Biology and Spanish. His love for both biology and space has guided his career interests towards astrobiology and the evolution of life. Outside of science, he enjoys listening to music, working out, and watching movies. sdchang[at]wisc[dot]edu|
|Carly Houghton is a PhD student in the CMU-Pitt Joint Computational Biology program. She received her BS in Biology from George Washington University and then trained as post-baccalaureate research fellow at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, MD. She received her MA in Biology from Johns Hopkins University, and conducted her graduate research at the NIH that focused on the regulation of aerobic respiration in a bacterial relative of mammalian mitochondria. Following completion of her masters, she completed a short research fellowship at the NIDDK that concentrated on computational modeling of neural circuit activity in the human visual cortex. She has broad scientific interests and a passion for studying evolution and systems biology. In her free time, she enjoys reading, cooking, traveling, and being outdoors. She joined the Carvunis lab in December, 2018 and obtained funding for her PhD research through a competitive T32 award from NIBIB. cah244[at]pitt[dot]edu|
|John Iannotta is a Research Specialist in the Carvunis Lab. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, he received his B.S. in Molecular Biology from the University of Pittsburgh in 2019. He received most of his scientific training as an undergraduate in the Carvunis Lab from 2017 to 2019, re-joining in 2023. As a technician and lab manager for Dr. Susana da Silva, he studied embryonic development of the specialized high acuity area in the retina. His main scientific interests are embryonic development, cloning, and the development of new genetic tools. Outside of work, John enjoys playing basketball and soccer, video games, and music. jmi28[at]pitt[dot]edu|
|Matthew Joyson, University of Pittsburgh, Computational Biology, Research Training Program for Student in Health Science, Summer of 2023. maj175[at]pitt[dot]edu|
|Anna Jane Kelly is a laboratory technician in the Carvunis lab. She received her BS in Biological Sciences from the University of Pittsburgh, where she received the Summer Undergraduate Research Award and used it to examine biodiversity’s impact on plant response to biotoxins and separately, conducted research on the microbiome. Outside of science, she enjoys reading, thrifting, and spending time outdoors. ajk174[at]pitt[dot]edu|
|Jiwon Lee is a Ph.D. student in the CMU-Pitt Joint Computational Biology PhD program. She received a BS in Biological Sciences with a minor in Science and Technology Policy from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), and an MS in Epidemiology from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. After completing her master’s, she spent three years at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where she primarily worked on whole genome sequence association studies of sleep phenotypes in the Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed) program, and harmonized Cleveland Family Study (CFS) data for various TOPMed studies. jil303[at]pitt[dot]edu|
|Emma Lipinski is a graduate student in the Genome Bioinformatics program of the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health. Emma received a Bachelor’s of Science in Bioengineering from The University of Pittsburgh in 2022. Her scientific interests include genomics, bioinformatics, and personalized medicine. Outside of science, Emma is interested in fashion, movies, and poker. She joined the Carvunis Lab in May 2023. ecl52[at]pitt[dot]edu|
|Mildred Morales is an undergraduate student at Harvey Mudd College majoring in Mathematical Computational Biology. At Mudd, she works in Dr. Catherine McFadden’s Coral Lab using molecular techniques and genomic data to analyze the phylogenetic relationship on octocorals. Mildred is interested in computational genomics and computational approaches to analyze evolutionary relationships. She joined the Carvunis Lab in May 2023 through TECBio REU. moralesp[at]pitt[dot]edu|
|Saurin Parikh joined the Carvunis lab a graduate student at Pitt’s bioengineering department in the summer of 2017. He since has become a PhD student in the Integrative Systems Biology graduate program of the Pitt Medical School. He has a background in medicine, and a passion for studying genetics and evolution. As a medical technology enthusiast, Saurin is interested in taking technologies from bench to bedside. He loves to travel, explore different cultures, go to museums, meet new people and take tons of pictures. saurinparikh[at]pitt[dot]edu | website|
|April Rich is a PhD student in the CMU-Pitt Joint Computational Biology program. She received a BS in Biology from Fordham University where she did research on DNA methylation in neuronal synaptic plasticity. Her research interest include epigenetics and chromatin dynamics. Outside of science, April enjoys crossword puzzles and dogs. aar75[at]pitt[dot]edu | website|
|Nozomu Saeki is a postdoc in the Carvunis Lab. Nozomu obtained his Ph.D. from Okayama University, Japan. Nozomu majored in Chemistry and conducted theoretical and computational studies on vibronic coupling at Kobe City College of Technology. During his undergraduate studies, Nozomu discovered a passion for systems biology. This led him to the Moriya Lab at Okayama University, where he studied yeast systems biology. Nozomu has an interest in horticulture and enjoys spending time in natural surroundings. He joined the Carvunis Lab in May 2023. nos69[at]pitt[dot]edu|
|Alistair Turcan is a PhD student in the CMU-Pitt Joint Computational Biology program. He received a B.S. in Computer Science from Western Washington University, doing research in structural modelling of proteins and their mutations. Outside of science, he enjoys hiking, travelling, and coding. alt245[at]pitt[dot]edu|
|Lucas K. Tang is an undergraduate student pursuing a degree in health sciences and a career in the medical field. A passion for discovery and novelty motivates his research, where the mysteries of life and evolution fascinate him. Compounded interests in mathematics and philosophy create a dynamic thinker primed for the journey of developing the scientic community’s tome of knowledge. Outside of science, Lucas enjoys solving puzzles and spending time in nature. lukat9674[at]gmail[dot]com|
|Aaron Wacholder is a postdoctoral fellow in The Carvunis Lab. Born in Maryland, he has an undergraduate degree in Biology from Stanford University. He attained his Ph.D. in Evolutionary Biology from University of Colorado Boulder, developing computational methods for evolutionary analysis of transposable elements in the laboratory of Dr. David Pollock at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Aaron joined the Carvunis lab in Februrary 2018. acw87[at]pitt[dot]edu|
|Former Group Members|
Branden Van Oss, Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA postdoctoral fellow, 2018 – 2022
Sneha Mittal, master’s thesis, Computational Biomedicine and Biotechnology, September – December 2022.
Jiazhen Xu, rotation student, Interdisciplinary Biomedical Graduate Program, March 2021.
Manuel Michaca, rotation student, Interdisciplinary Biomedical Graduate Program, March 2020.
Marissa Di, rotation student, Joint CMU-Pitt program in Computational Biology, November 2019.
Tyler Lovelace, rotation student, Joint CMU-Pitt program in Computational Biology, October 2018.
BaDoi Phan, rotation student, Joint MD/PhD program at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University, summer 2018 – now pursuing medical school.
Trevor Frisby, rotation student, Joint CMU-Pitt program in Computational Biology, November 2018 – now pursuing a PhD with Dr Langmead.
Feng (Ryan) Shan, rotation student, University of Pittsburgh program in Integrative Systems Biology, August 2017.
Alexis Berger, University of Pittsburgh, Molecular Biology major on pre-medical track, 2021 – 22.
Aaron Zhang, University of Pittsburgh, Biology major on pre-medical track, The Adopt a Proto-gene Initiative, summer 2022.
Brandon Garcia, Rollins College, Marine Biology major, The Adopt a Proto-gene Initiative, summer 2022.
Sasha Manus, Brandeis University, Biology major, TECBio REU , summer 2022.
Kate McCourt, University of Pittsburgh, Molecular Biology major on pre-medical track, 2019 – 22.
Vijay Kiran Cherupally, University of Pittsburgh, Computational Biology major, TECBio REU , summer 2021.
John Iannota, University of Pittsburgh, Molecular Biology major, 2017 – 19. Now Research Specialist in Dr. Susana da Silva‘s lab.
Tanvi Yende, Yale University, Statistics and Data Science major on pre-medical track, summer 2019.
Jake McKee, Robert Morris University, Biology major on pre-medical track, summer 2019.
Dominique Cantave, Harvard University, Applied Mathematics with a focus in Biology, TECBio REU , summer 2018.
Tom Dougherty, Harvey Mudd College, Math-Computer Science, TECBio REU , summer 2018.
Selin Sevgi, Koc University (Istanbul, Turkey), Molecular Biology and Genetics, Research Training Program for Student in the Health Sciences, summers 2017 and 2018.
Kate Karlovich, Ohio University, Chemistry, Research Training Program for Student in the Health Sciences, summer 2017.
Neha Sodhi, University of California San Diego, Bioengineering – Biotechnology, March – September 2017.
Andy MacWilliams, Laboratory Automation / Research Specialist
Anthony Newbrough, Research Assistant