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 who does computational biology. 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.

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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.

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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 a Computer Science Ph.D. student 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.

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SHANNON ZHOU, Lab Manager

Shannon is the Lab Manager, whose work consists of a mixture of lab 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 is also a Medical Assistant and plans to pursue a career in medicine. She received her B.S. in Biology from the University of Minnesota. 

UNDERGRADUATES
 
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.
CALVIN THOMA - Calvin is a Microbiology student at the University of Minnesota College of Biological Sciences who is currently working on data analysis, database management, and data curation.  He is currently studying Graft vs Host Disease in bone marrow transplant patients.
Past members
Postdoctoral Associates
Dr. ABBY JOHNSON - Abby is an Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.
Dr. JONATHAN CLAYTON - Jonathan is an Assistant Professor at the University of Nebraska.
Dr. CHRISTOPHER McKINLAY - Chris is a 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's 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
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

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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