LAB MEMBERS.

Note: Dan is on sabbatical in 2021.
Current members
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Dr. DAN KNIGHTS, Principal Investigator
Curriculum vitae

Dr. Dan Knights is a data scientist and puzzle enthusiast. He is an Associate Professor in the Biotechnology Institute and the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota. Dan received his B.A. from Middlebury College, and his Ph.D. from the University of Colorado, both in Computer Science, followed by completing a post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard. His research uses data mining and machine learning to better understand the natural world, including studying the microbiome in human disease. In 2015, Dan was named a McKnight Land-Grant Professor by the University of Minnesota, and he received the 2019 Innovation Award from the University of Minnesota’s Office of the Vice President for Research together with Kenny Beckman and Daryl Gohl. From 2016-2020, Dan was co-founder and CEO of CoreBiome, a genomics company that has merged with Diversigen. Dan is currently on Sabbatical through 2021.

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SUZIE HOOPS, Ph.D. Student

Suzie is a Computer Science Ph.D. student, studying new methods in dimensionality reduction and longitudinal analysis, applying these and other machine learning methods to the human gut microbiome. Suzie assists with various projects, including the MAGIC study, where she explores the maturation of the infant gut microbiome. Suzie started with Knights Lab as a staff researcher for two years before beginning her Ph.D. Prior to joining the lab, Suzie conducted data visualization research and taught English in Linz, Austria as part of a Fulbright Award. Suzie received her B.A. in Mathematics from St. Olaf College.

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CALVIN THOMA, Lab Manager

Cal is the Lab Manager, whose work consists of a mixture of lab management and a wide array of other tasks. He worked as an undergrad student researcher investigating the relation between cancer patients' health outcomes and the pretransplant microbiome.  He is interested in continued research and pursuing a career in academia. 

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Past members
Postdoctoral Associates
Dr. ABBY JOHNSON - Abby is Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.
Dr. JONATHAN CLAYTON - Jonathan is Assistant Professor at the University of Nebraska.
Dr. CHRISTOPHER McKINLAY - Chris is Principal Engineer on the Flight Controls Team at Kitty Hawk.
Dr. EMMANUEL MONTASSIER - Emmanuel is Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Nantes, France.
Dr. ROBIN SHIELDS-CUTLER - Robin is an Assistant Professor at Macalester College.
Dr. TONYA WARD - Tonya is now Director of Data Science & Bioinformatics at Diversigen.
Doctoral Students
Dr. GABRIEL AL-GHALITH - Gabe is now working at Johnson and Johnson.

Dr. PAJAU (PJ) VANGAY - Pajau is currently a Scientific Community Engagement Manager for the National Microbiome Data Collaborative.

Dr. BENJAMIN HILLMANN - Ben is now a visiting professor at Macalester College.
Staff Members
JESSICA KENNEDY - Jesse is the Executive Assistant to the Chief of Cardiology and Director of the Lillehei Heart Institute, and a Master's Degree student in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (BICB) at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
SHANNON ZHOU - Shannon is now a medical student at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Undergraduates
MAX ABRAMSON -  now in the Pathmaker Internship with Palomar Health and preparing to apply for medical school
RAWDA AHMAD
JORDAN AKERS
KAIWEI ANG
VANESSA BRADFISH
ERICA ELLINGSON
LUKE FEELEY
ANDREW GRUESEN
JESSICA HALVERSON
PATRICK JOHNSON - now working in biotechnology at Takeda Pharmaceuticals
KAYLEE KANGAS
AUSTIN KIM - now at NIH
GRANT KIM - performing research at HCMC
CARTER LINHARDT
VARUN MANGALICK
JEREMY MEULEMANS
NICK PERINOVIC
KELSEY PORTER - now working with EXPLO, doing Exploration-based learning with youth groups
NURUL QURATULAINI ABD SALIM NAST
LUTFE-E-NOOR RAHMAN
GITANJALI RAMAN
TIMOTHY RENIER
DOMINIQUE SABAS
ANNA SABOE
DIMITRI SIDIROPOULOS - now in the Cellular and Molecular Medicine PhD Program at Johns Hopkins
MADELINE SMITH
ARZENG SYED
SANGEITHA THAYALAN
GAVIN TURNER

Join us!

 

If you are interested in joining the lab, you can contact me at dknights@umn.edu. However, I am on sabbatical in 2021 and I am generally not accepting new lab members at this time.

Want to support our research? Please contact the University of Minnesota Foundation.

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