Personnel

Ryan Dale, Ph.D.

Senior Scientist; NICHD Scientific Information Officer; Head of BSPC

Bldg 6A Rm 1A16, ryan.dale@nih.gov

After a Masters in Oceanography and a Ph.D. in Marine Biology from the University of Delaware, Ryan came to NIH in 2009 as the bioinformatician for a group of six PIs and about 40 post-docs in NIDDK (Laboratory of Cellular and Developmental Biology, LCDB). From 2009-2018, he became a developmental biologist, analyzed thousands of high-throughput sequencing libraries across hundreds of experiments, and led the bioinformatics on most papers published by the group. During that time he developed open-source software packages in Python, R, and C (some of which have been downloaded tens of thousands of times), contributed to many other open source software packages, co-founded the Bioconda  project, and led workshops teaching computational skills to biologists. In 2018 he started at NICHD as Scientific Information Officer, founded the Bioinformatics and Scientific Programming Core, and has been growing the total bioinformatics capacity of the institute through collaborations and training ever since.

Caroline Esnault, Ph.D.

Staff Scientist

Bldg 6A Rm 1A17, caroline.esnault@nih.gov

While completing her PhD in Molecular Genetics at the University of Lyon, France, Caroline taught Statistics, Evolution and Population Genetics. Her thesis and postdoctoral work focused on understanding the impact of transposable elements on the genome of a variety of organisms. She joined NICHD in 2011 as a postdoctoral fellow in the group of Henry Levin, where she managed the lab’s high-throughput sequencer, in addition to consulting for her teammates on statistics and sequence analyses. She became fascinated with Next Generation Sequencing and learned programming in Python, Perl and R to develop or optimize the bioinformatics tools she needed. She joined the BSPC in 2018 to provide the NICHD bioinformatics core with expertise at the interface of biology and computer science.

Apratim Mitra, Ph.D.

Staff Scientist

Bldg 6A Rm 1A17, apratim.mitra@nih.gov

Apratim completed his Ph.D. in computational biology from the University of Maryland, College Park before joining NICHD in 2013 as a post-doctoral fellow in the lab of Karl Pfeifer. There, he worked on understanding the functions of a conserved long non-coding RNA while being closely involved in the planning and analysis of several other projects both in his lab and with collaborators in the Division of Developmental biology (DDB). As a result, he learned concepts of developmental biology and contributed to several projects in diverse contexts and co-authored multiple scientific articles. Apratim enjoys the challenge of multi-disciplinary science and has extensive experience in many aspects of bioinformatics and statistical analysis. He enjoys contributing to the development of a strong bioinformatics community and support network to enable exciting new science in the institute.

Gennady Margolin, Ph.D.

Bioinformatics Scientist (contractor)

Building 6, Room 4B412, gennady.margolin@nih.gov

With a background in exact sciences and some biology, Gennady came to NIH in 2008 as a Research Fellow at NIDDK to develop skills and work on projects utilizing emergent next-gen sequencing. He was also tasked with system administration of the sequencing core computational server. In 2013 he moved to NHGRI as a Bioinformatics Scientist and among other projects, focused on studying DNA methylation in cancer and using it to detect and classify cancers. Recently, in 2019 he joined the BSPC group at NICHD and is working directly with the researchers in the Aquatic Models of Human Development group in Building 6. He is excited to take part in multiple research projects, utilize and share his knowledge and learn from others at the interface of biology, computers, and applied math.

Henry Zhang, Ph.D.

Staff Scientist

Bldg 49 Rm 1A35C and Bldg 6 Rm 233, hzhang@mail.nih.gov

Henry has a multidisciplinary background in human genetics, genomics, statistics, and software programming. In 2001 he completed his postdoctoral training in NHGRI and moved to NCI in as a staff scientist in bioinformatics and mainly worked on genome-wide gene expression profiling and population genetics research of cancers using microarrays as well as using the next-generation sequencing technology that was emerging at the time. Henry joined NICHD in 2017 and joined BSPC in 2018, supporting labs directly in Buildings 6 and 49. He focuses on application support for high-throughput sequencing molecular and cellular biology research with next generation sequencing methods including of RILseq, RIboseq, RNAseq, ChIPSeq, and scRNAseq. He also develops software with R to meet various project requests.

Mira Sohn, Ph.D.

Bioinformatics Scientist (contractor)

Bldg 35 Rm 2D904, mira.sohn@nih.gov

After receiving her Ph.D. in 2013 in Biochemistry from Ewha Womans University (Seoul, South Korea), Mira expanded her research experience to Cell Biology in NICHD (Bethesda, MD) and the Carnegie Institution for Science (Baltimore, MD) as a postdoctoral fellow. After finishing her postdoctoral training in 2019, she discovered a new passion for bioinformatics. As a self-taught amateur bioinformatician, she not only taught herself R and Python but also blog-posted bioinformatics self-projects using public datasets. Moreover, she trained her skills by conducting a volunteer bioinformatics project quantitatively comparing multiple alignment algorithms in the context of bulk RNA-seq analysis. In 2021, she joined the BSPC as a bioinformatics scientist collaborating with diverse labs in Building 35.

Eva Jason, B.S.

Post-baccalaureate Intramural Research Training Award Fellow

Bldg 6A Rm 1A17, eva.jason@nih.gov

While completing her degree in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Eva worked in a lab focusing on drug discovery and design. She complemented her studies with additional courses in statistics and programming leading her to add a minor in Bioinformatics.  After college, she spent time as an organic chemistry researcher, a math teacher, and an intern in a medical informatics lab. As a Southern California native, Eva is excited to be experiencing the seasons here on the East Coast, exploring the area, and meeting new people.

Gus Fridell, B.S.

Post-baccalaureate Intramural Research Training Award Fellow

Bldg 6A Rm 1A17, gus.fridell@nih.gov

Gus grew up and attended high school in Guilford, Connecticut. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.S. in Biology with a concentration in Quantitative Biology, and a B.S. in Statistics and Analytics. In his third year at UNC, Gus joined the lab of Todd Vision, where he began using bioinformatics and phylogenomics to study hybrid ancestry and polyploidy in plants. During his time in the lab, Gus's enthusiasm for bioinformatics research grew, culminating in the completion of his senior honors thesis which evaluated a phylogenetic method for inferring polyploids. Continuing in the field of computational biological research, Gus joined the NIH as a 2-year postbac in the NICHD BSPC in June of 2021. He looks forward to living in the nation's capital and he is extremely eager to apply and improve upon his undergraduate skills as a researcher and programmer while contributing to the important research conducted at the NICHD. Gus plans to attend a PhD program in either statistics or bioinformatics after his time at the NIH.

Kiersten Campbell, B.S.

Post-baccalaureate Intramural Research Training Award Fellow

Bldg 6A Rm 1A17, kiersten.campbell@nih.gov

Kiersten recently graduated from Williams College with a B.A. in Biology and Computer Science. She joined Dr. Claire Ting’s lab during her second year at Williams and continued to conduct research in this lab throughout the rest of her undergraduate career. With the lab’s focus on marine cyanobacteria, Kiersten utilized her programming skills to automate genomic comparisons amongst various strains of these environmentally impactful organisms. This work ultimately culminated in her senior thesis, “Characterizing the Pangenomes of Key Oceanic Microbiome Community Members”. In addition to her interests in bioinformatics, she is passionate about increasing accessibility in Computer Science education. At Williams, she served as a mentor for First Generation college students and for prospective Computer Science majors. She joined the NICHD BSPC in July 2021 as a 2-year IRTA postbac. She is looking forward to exploring the range of research topics BSPC is involved in and improving her skills as a bioinformatician. Outside of work, she is also excited to explore the DMV and meet fellow postbacs.

 

Previous Members

Eric Chang, B.S.

Sydney Hertafeld, B.S.

Nicholas Johnson, B.A./B.S.

Arjun Mittal, B.S.

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