About Pierce

I am primarily interested in applications of machine learning, data science, and statistical models to problems in genomics and functional genomics. I am pursing these interests as a PhD Student in the Biomedical Engineering Graduate Group at UC Davis.

Before starting graduate school at UC Davis, I received my B.S. in Bioengineering from the University of Maryland. My research experience as an undergraduate was diverse. I started as an intern in the Laboratory of Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, primarily concerned with the characterization of vaccine candidates against EBV. Following that, I worked as a Junior Software Engineer at BrainScope, Inc. on the development of a device designed to rapidly detect signs of brain trauma from a patient’s electroencephalogram (EEG). I have also worked under Dr. Benjamin Shapiro at UMD to develop simulations of magnetic nanoparticles in the context of drug delivery. Lastly, before joining the Aviran Lab, I performed research in the Savageau Lab at UC Davis where I studied compositional biases of biosynthetic enzymes in the context of evolutionary optimization.

When I’m not doing research, I like to spend my time skiing, tracking weather patterns, and playing ice hockey.

About Sana

I am a first year graduate student in the Computer Science department. I received my bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences from UC Berkeley in 2011. As an undergraduate, I worked in Professor Michael Lustig’s group at UC Berkeley on optimal trajectory traversal in MRI k-space. Prior to coming to UC Davis, I worked as a junior specialist in Professor Sarah Nelson’s lab at UC San Francisco. I am interested in signal processing, algorithms, statistical analysis, and combinatorics.

About Krishna

I am broadly interested in Data Sciences and programming. I came to UC Davis with a diverse background. I received my BTech and MTech degree from IIT Delhi with major specialization in Biochemical Engineering & Biotechnology and a minor specialization in Nano Science & Engineering. While I was trained as an engineer through my coursework, I had been more of an Applied Mathematician to Computational Biologist by my research experiences.

After graduation in 2013, I participated in a business venture with a friend from college, EuMentis Informatics. We started offering Data Analysis, Management and Consulting services backed by a team of experienced professors and hard-working graduates. While I was impressed with the prospects in Biomedical Informatics, I felt the need for a better understanding of the area. With this goal, I left EuMentis to join UC Davis and I have been fortunate enough to find an ideal home with Dr. Aviran’s research group. I am currently interested in developing statistical inference models and software to analyze next-gen trancriptomic data.

Besides research, I like spending time playing music and hiking.

About Samuel


I am an undergraduate student at UC Davis, and I am very interested in how biomolecular structures form. I will be graduating in the spring of 2016, with a BSc in Genetics and Genomics. I plan on furthering my understanding of R and Python to better apply my biological skill set within a quantitative lab environment. Being a part of the Computational RNA Genomics Lab has been the highlight of my undergraduate career.

During my time away from work, or my studies, I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, and activities like rock climbing which involve creative problem solving.

About Hua


I received my master’s degree from KAIST in Bio Imaging & Signal Processing in 2011 and my advisor was Dr. Jongchul Ye. My research interest was to explore brain activities with functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) via changes in the degree of hemoglobin oxygenation through the intact skull. General linear models and statistical inference were applied to analyze fNIRS signals. After graduation, I worked at Shanghai United Imaging as an algorithms engineer for more than two years. I developed algorithms to process medical images like CT, MRI, X-ray and PET. The projects included segmentation of lung lobe, computer-aided diagnosis (CAD) of mammograpy, CAD of MR breast, clinical trials of MR and CT workstations, and so on.

In my free time, I do Zumba and Yoga.

About Mirko


I am a PhD student in the Integrative Genetics and Genomics Graduate Group at UC Davis. I am interested in understanding the impact of RNA and DNA conformations at the genomic level and in developing tools to analyze next-generation sequencing data. I am also interested in using RNA structure information to develop and engineer molecular biosystems. Before starting grad school I worked at the Nestlé Research Center in Switzerland. Most of my research efforts concentrated around taste perception physiology at the molecular level under the supervision of Johannes le Coutre. While at Nestlé, I also worked on integrating and linking human genetics, sensomics, metabolomics and microbiota datasets in collaboration with Sven Bergmann and Zoltàn Kutalik from the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. Prior to my experience in industry, I obtained an Engineering Diploma in Life Sciences with emphasis in Biotechnology from HES-SO Valais-Wallis in Switzerland.

In my spare time I like to travel, play soccer and enjoy the Californian sun.

Old News

Welcome Nathan and Jacob! Two new members joined the lab: Nathan Shih is a postdoc who is joining us after completing his PhD at UC Berkeley, and Jacob Turner is an Applied Math undergraduate student at Davis.

About Fei


I received my PhD in Computer Science from City University of Hong Kong in 2014 under the supervision of Prof. Lusheng Wang. During my PhD studies, I worked on several topics in the field of computational biology and bioinformatics.

In my spare time, I enjoy many sports like basketball, swimming, badminton, as well as outdoor activities like hiking.