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.

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.

Baran Khazaee, CS PhD student

Baran (she/hers) is a PhD student in Computer Science. Her primary research interest lies in applying Machine Learning techniques to address complex Computational Biology problems, specifically gene expression prediction. Outside academics, she enjoys exploring, cooking, and trying new foods.

Siddhant Sanghi, IGG PhD student

Siddhant (Sid) is a PhD student in the Integrative Genetics and Genomics (IGG) program. His interests lie at the intersection of Machine Learning and Biology, particularly in asking the right questions to probe complex biological systems and developing advanced machine learning methods to decipher them. He is currently working on inferring “rules” of genome organisation from genotype-to-phenotype (g2p) prediction models. In his free time, he loves to Swing dance and be around good music.

Renee Napoliello, IGG PhD student

Renee is a PhD student in IGG (Integrative Genetics and Genomics). She previously worked on developing gene therapy (using CRISPR) to treat rare neurological disorders. Her goal is to apply machine learning to empirical data to further our understanding of epigenetics and gene expression. When she’s not in lab, she’s found traipsing through the mountains, getting drawn into a new video game, or eating copious amounts of sweets.

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.

Kevin Wang, NPB undergrad

Kevin Wang is a Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior Major at UC Davis. He really enjoys learning computation biology & bioinformatics and is looking forward to apply machine learning to analyze cellular mutations. When not translating bases, he’s translating Greek, imitating Squidward on the clarinet, jamming to jazz, or rock climbing.

Aruna Nannapaneni, Molecular and Medical Microbio undergrad

Aruna is an undergrad student at UC Davis studying Molecular and Medical Microbiology. She is interested in applying bioinformatics and machine learning to better understand genetic mutations and their correlation to diseases. Outside of academics, she enjoys spending time fencing, watching Disney channel, and playing board games.

Lucas Fern, Biotechnology undergrad

Lucas is an undergraduate student studying Biotechnology with a focus in bioinformatics at UC Davis. He is interested in the applications of machine learning to solve complex biological challenges. In his free time, he enjoys playing soccer, rock climbing, and card games.

Lab alumni

  • Yongin Choi, Biomedical Engineering PhD student (now Scientist @ Altius Institute for Biomedical Sciences)
  • Ruoxin Li, Biostatistics PhD student (now Statistician @ the Allen Institute)
  • 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)