I'm an Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland in the Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics and the Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology.
I started my research career as an undergraduate researcher in Jake Tu's lab at Virginia Tech studying mosquito sex determination. There, I developed the Chromosome Quotient method to identify Y chromosome genes in mosquitoes. Using this method, I identified the gene nix, the first male-determining factor found in an insect. I continued in Jake's lab to pursue my PhD in Genetics, Bioinformatics, and Computational Biology from Virginia Tech. My PhD was supported by the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.
After receiving my PhD in 2016, I joined Ramnik Xavier's lab at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and Massachusetts General Hospital studying the human gut microbiome. Shortly after, I received the Helen Hay Whitney Postdoctoral Fellowship. During my postdoc, I developed PhaseFinder, a new algorithm to identify phase-variable regions in bacterial genomes. I also worked on human cohorts of Inflammatory Bowel Disease patients such as the Longitudinal Stool Study and Human Microbiome Project II.
In 2020, I joined the University of Maryland as an Assistant Professor. My lab studies the intersection of the human gut microbiome and gastrointestinal disease. I am passionate about developing new strategies to measure gut microbial activities and metabolites with new assays and devices.
At the University of Maryland, I teach BSCI411 Bioinformatics and Integrative Genomics during the Fall semester.