Dr. DAN KNIGHTS, Principal Investigator
Dr. Dan Knights is a data scientist and puzzle solver. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering and the Biotechnology Institute 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 a post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard. His research uses data mining and machine learning to better understand the natural world and the place of humans in it. This includes modeling the sustainability of various activities in modern civilization, and sharing that information in ways that help people and organizations change their behavior. Dan also researches the role of the microbiome in human disease, and has developed software for analyzing microbiome data. In 2015, Dan was named a McKnight Land-Grant Professor by the University of Minnesota. From 2016-2020, Dan was co-founder and CEO of CoreBiome, a genomics company that was acquired by OraSure, Inc. Dan 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.
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.
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.
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 Director of Data Science & Bioinformatics at Diversigen.
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
MAX ABRAMSON - now in the Pathmaker Internship with Palomar Health and preparing to apply for medical school
PATRICK JOHNSON - now working in biotechnology at Takeda Pharmaceuticals
AUSTIN KIM - now at NIH
GRANT KIM - performing research at HCMC
KELSEY PORTER - now working with EXPLO, doing Exploration-based learning with youth groups
NURUL QURATULAINI ABD SALIM NAST
DIMITRI SIDIROPOULOS - now in the Cellular and Molecular Medicine PhD Program at Johns Hopkins