Volunteers

LAB MEMBERS.

Current members
Dr. DAN KNIGHTS, Principal Investigator
Curriculum vitae

Dr. Dan Knights is a computational microbiologist. He is a 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 completing a post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard. His research uses data mining and machine learning to study the microbiome in human disease. Dan has co-authored numerous articles in top multidisciplinary journals. In 2015, he was named a McKnight Land-Grant Professor by the University of Minnesota.

Dr. ABBY JOHNSON, Postdoctoral Associate

Abby is a postdoctoral associate in the Knights Lab at the University of Minnesota, where she is studying the relationship between diet and the microbiome. She received her Ph.D. in Nutrition from the University of Minnesota, where she studied the impact of bariatric surgery on body composition. She trained as a registered dietitian nutritionist through Iowa State University. Prior to her Ph.D., Abby obtained a B.S. with majors in Nutrition Science and Biology at the University of Minnesota. Before joining the lab Abby worked in R&D in the food industry.

BEN HILLMAN, Ph.D. Candidate

Ben is a Ph.D. candidate in Computer Science in the Knights Lab, where he researches machine learning and software engineering in computational biology. He recently took a break from his studies to be a data scientist at the trucking logistics company C.H. Robinson, where he implemented and maintained geospatial dynamic pricing software. Before joining the Knights Lab he was a software engineer at Kipsu. He received his B.A from Macalester College in Saint Paul. He is most well known for having Jupyter kernels randomly walking with wild Pandas.

SUZIE HOOPS, Ph.D. Candidate

Suzie is a staff researcher who assists with various projects, including the MAGIC study, where she explores the maturation of the infant gut microbiome. She is also an incoming Computer Science Ph.D. student (Fall 2020) at the University of Minnesota. She is interested in dimensionality reduction techniques and machine learning applications in microbiome analysis. 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.

SHANNON ZHOU, Lab Manager

Shannon is the Lab Manager, whose work consists of a mixture of lab management, project management, and a wide array of other tasks. She is interested in the relationship between the microbiome and migration and learning bioinformatic analysis techniques. She also works as a Medical Assistant and plans to pursue a career in medicine. She received her B.S. in Biology from the University of Minnesota. 

UNDERGRADUATES
 
VANESSA BRADFISHVanessa is an undergraduate student at the University of Minnesota College of Biological Sciences studying Neuroscience with a minor in German. She is working on the Microbiome, Antibiotics, and Growth Infant Cohort (MAGIC) study via sample processing and data entry. 
GAVIN TURNER - Gavin is a BioMedical Engineering student who is currently working on data analysis, data curation, and computational tool creation related to the Chemotherapy and Dysbiosis study. He is studying Graft vs Host Disease in bone marrow transplant patients.
 
ARZENG SYED - Arzeng is working with Dr. Abby Johnson on creating a pipeline for microbiome and food analysis. 
Past members
Postdoctoral Associates
Dr. JONATHAN CLAYTON - Jonathan is an Assistant Professor at the University of Nebraska.
Dr. CHRISTOPHER McKINLAY - Chris is now Principal Engineer on the Flight Controls Team at Kitty Hawk.
Dr. EMMANUEL MONTASSIER - Emmanuel is now an 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 and completing a post-doc fellowship with Dan Knights' mentor, Rob Knight.
Dr. PAJAU (PJ) VANGAY - Pajau is currently a Scientific Community Engagement Manager for the National Microbiome Data Collaborative.
Undergraduates
MAX ABRAMSON -  now in the Pathmaker Internship with Palomar Health and preparing to apply for medical school
RAWDA AHMAD
JORDAN AKERS
KAIWEI ANG
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
SANGEITHA THAYALAN
Plants
CHLORO-FIGHTER, the spider plant - deceased

Join us!

 

Interested in joining the lab? Contact Dan at dknights@umn.edu.

Want to support our research? Please contact the University of Minnesota Foundation, or give now.

CONTACT

 

Knights Lab

MCB 6-124

420 Washington Ave SE

Minneapolis, MN 55455

(612) 5-MICROB (612-564-2762)

dknights@umn.edu

ABOUT

 

Dr. Dan Knights is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering and the Biotechnology Institute at the University of Minnesota. The Knights lab models host-microbiome interactions in human disease, with labs in Minneapolis and Saint Paul. Knights is a PI with the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute.

© 2013-2014 Knights Lab, University of Minnesota