The lab

Gerald Quon, Principal Investigator

Gerald Quon is a Canadi(eh)n Associate Professor in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at UC Davis. Previously, he was a postdoc at MIT and the Broad Institute, building models to predict the mechanism of action of genetic variants associated with obesity and Alzheimer’s Disease. He completed his PhD in Computer Science at the University of Toronto under Quaid Morris, where his research focused on developing models to deconvolute gene expression profiles of heterogeneous cell populations, in order to improve personalized medicine in cancer. He also holds a MSc in Biochemistry from the University of Toronto, as well as an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from the University of Waterloo.

Ruoxin Li, Biostats PhD student

Rita is a Ph.D student in Biostatistics. She has a keen interest in developing statistical tools, in particular generative models, to reveal and interpret novel biological insight from genomics data. In her personal time, she also enjoys watercolor, digital illustration and hiking.


Yongin Choi, BME PhD student

Yongin is a PhD student in the Biomedical Engineering department, and joined the lab in Spring 2018. His current project focuses on learning the key regulatory mechanism responsible for change and maintenance of cell state. In his spare time, he enjoys playing tennis, board games, and eating great food that others have prepared for him.

Hongru Hu, IGG PhD student

Hongru is a PhD student in the IGG program. He has experience in applying neurogenetic and genomic tools to discover the function of neural circuits underlying animal behaviors and would love to develop computational methods for bridging the genotype-phenotype gap to answer specific biological questions. He likes exploring national parks in his spare time.

Lacey Walker, IGG PhD student

Lacey is a PhD student in the IGG program whose past work as a public health bioinformaticist has focused on metagenomics and antimicrobial resistant bacteria. She is interested in developing computational tools for integrative analysis that connects variations in genetics and gene expression to cellular phenotypes. She enjoys reading, volunteering, and trivia.

Kate Jones, Biostatistics PhD student

Kate (she/hers) is a PhD student in Biostatistics. She has interests in population dynamics and interactions at the cellular level, as well as the mechanics of gene regulation. Outside of academics, she enjoys all things outdoors, reading, and trying new foods.

Ricardo Valdarrago, Research Assistant

Ricardo is a recent Computer Science graduate from UC Davis who specialized in machine learning. He loves developing models to tackle all sorts of varying problems ranging from biological to computational. In his spare time, I enjoy baking, cooking and especially watching horror movies with my friends, on top of being an avid fan of board games and miniatures.

Wentao Mo, Research Assistant

Wentao is a recent UCDavis graduate double majoring in Applied Mathematics and Applied Statistics. He wants to apply mathematical and statistical computational skills to develop models to solve genetic and health related problems. In his leisure time, he loves to play the piano and watch anime.

Matthew Morisawa, undergrad

Matthew is a UC Davis undergraduate pursuing a degree in applied statistics. He seeks to utilize machine learning models to analyze the details, behavior, and interactions concerning the cis-regulatory genetic code that dictates gene expression. His interests outside of the lab include reading sci-fi, learning Japanese, playing board games, and going on fun outings with his friends.

Annie Tran, Biochemistry undergrad

Annie is an undergraduate student at UC Davis pursuing a degree in Biochemistry with a minor in Quantitative Biology and Bioinformatics. She is interested in exploring the genetic expression and regulation of neuropsychiatric disorders. Outside of academics, she enjoys cooking, writing short stories, taking walks in nature, and spending time with friends and family.

Lab alumni

  • Nelson Johansen, CS PhD student (now Scientist @ the Allen Institute)
  • Xinzhe Li, Cell Biology undergrad and Junior Specialist (now a GPhD student @ UCLA)
  • Albert Stanley, CS undergrad (now CS grad student @ UCLA)
  • Ryan Buchner, Genetics and Genomics undergrad (2020-2021) (now CS grad student @ UC Davis)
  • Catalina Anghel, postdoc (now Research Scientist @ Canadian Nuclear Laboratories)