Bioinformatics Personnel

The Bioinformatics Core provides bioinformatics analysis to support research activities. The Core was originally founded in 2006 as part of The Center for Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics (CCMB), and was called the Collaborative Computing and Data Unit (CCDU). In spring of 2012, the Bioinformatics Core joined the Biomedical Research Core Facilities (BRCF). Over the years, we have expanded the scope of the Core to broadly support Bioinformatics Analysis at the U-M Medical School (UMMS) and across the entire U-M Campus, with a recharge based service model. The goal of the Core is to provide professional and cost-effective bioinformatics support to UMMS researchers. Our areas of expertise include systems biology applications, analytical methods, data annotation, and integration.

The Bioinformatics Core is part of the UMMS Office of Research and the Biomedical Research Core Facilities (BRCF), and the faculty in the Core is appointed in the Department of Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics (DCM&B).

Chris Gates, M.S

Chris Gates, M.S

Managing Director

cgates@umich.edu

Chris Gates became the Managing Director of the Bioinformatics Core in January 2019. Prior to that, he served as the lead software engineer for the Core. He enjoys building quality software systems and exceptional software delivery teams. Since 1993, he has assumed many different roles in software development and has experience across many business domains including high-throughput genomics, pharmaceutical drug-discovery, publishing, electronic medical record systems, and social-science research. Prior to joining the core, he was the Director of Product Informatics at Compendia Bioscience (part of Life Technologies) where he managed the teams that created and maintained the Oncomine suite of bioinformatic data mining tools.

Marci Brandenburg, M.S., M.S.I.

Marci Brandenburg, M.S., M.S.I.

Bioinformationist

mbradenb@umich.edu

Marci Brandenburg has her Masters in Biology (Ohio University) and Information (University of Michigan) and is currently Bioinformationist for the Bioinformatics Core, Department of Computational Medicine & Bioinformatics, and the Taubman Health Sciences Library. She is also the Project Manager for the Bioinformatics Core. She specializes in instruction on visualization tools and other information/informatics resources and was the project manager on a grant-funded project related to tranSMART, an open-source framework for knowledge management of translational research data including both molecular and clinical information. Prior to working at the University of Michigan, she was the Biosciences Informationist at the National Cancer Institute – Frederick in Maryland.

Nick Carruthers, M.S., Ph.D.

Nick Carruthers, M.S., Ph.D.

Bioinformatics Analyst

ncarruth@med.umich.edu

Dr. Nick Carruthers specializes in statistical and functional analysis of RNASeq and Proteomics data. He is interested in data sharing and reproducible analysis pipelines. Prior to working at the University of Michigan, he was a bioinformatician at the Wayne State University Proteomics Facility. He received his Ph.D. in Toxicology and M.S. in Data Science from Wayne State University and B.Sc. in Biology from the University of Waterloo. His free time is spent with his family or on the golf course.

Raymond Cavalcante, Ph.D.

Raymond Cavalcante, Ph.D.

Bioinformatics Analyst

rcavalca@umich.edu

Dr. Cavalcante consults with clients to understand their bioinformatics needs and develop suitable analysis plans. He develops modular, scalable, and reproducible analysis pipelines for epigenomics assays (ChIP-seq, WGBS, ERRBS, ATAC-seq, and the EPIC methylation array). Dr. Cavalcante received his Ph.D. in Bioinformatics at the University of Michigan in August 2017, where he focused on building computational tools to help interpret and give context to epigenomics and metabolomics data. He completed his undergraduate work in Mathematics from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and an M.A. in Mathematics from San Francisco State University.

When not working, he likes to escape to the Upper Peninsula as much as possible to ski and cook in the winter, or hike and pick berries in the summer.

Dana King, Ph.D.

Dana King, Ph.D.

Bioinformatics Analyst

damki@umich.edu 

Dana King received a Bachelors’s in Biology at The College of New Jersey before working as a research assistant at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories. She went on to receive her Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics & Genomics at Washington University in St. Louis, working with Dr. Barak Cohen to understand the impact of regulatory sequence changes in mouse and human models using Massively Parallel Reporter Assays (MPRAs) and machine learning. Dana’s current focus areas are RNA-seq and functional analysis with additional interest in machine learning and custom analyses.

Travis Saari

Travis Saari

Bioinformatics Analyst

trsaari@umich.edu

Travis Saari received his bachelor’s degree in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology from Michigan State University. He then went on to work at Pfizer and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. At the EPA, he led the annotation efforts on a draft genome of a minnow species widely used in aquatic toxicology and created a web portal for these data, providing access to these resources to the wider research community. Most recently, he has been focused on fostering scientific reproducibility and best practices by incorporating workflow and environment management tools into bioinformatics analysis pipelines.

Rebecca Tagett, M.S.

Rebecca Tagett, M.S.

Bioinformatics Analyst

rtagett@umich.edu

Rebecca holds a Bachelor’s in Physics (Emory), a Master’s in Atmospheric Sciences (UCLA), and a Master’s in Molecular Biology (CUNY). Her career in Bioinformatics includes the Human Genome Project in Los Alamos, the INSERM in France, and 10 years at a molecular diagnostics start-up, now part of Qiagen, where she was a founding member. While full time in the Bioinformatics Core, she is also wrapping up a Ph.D. at Wayne State, under Dr. Draghici (CEO of Advaita Bioinformatics), applying systems methods in unconventional contexts. She enjoys the diversity and impact of projects at our Core and is currently taking transcriptomics and custom requests.

Weisheng Wu, Ph.D.

Weisheng Wu, Ph.D.

Bioinformatics Analyst

weishwu@umich.edu

Weisheng Wu received his Ph.D. in Integrative Biosciences and Graduate Minor degree in Statistics from Pennsylvania State University in 2011. His Ph.D. and postdoctoral research in Dr. Ross Hardison’s lab in the Center for Comparative Genomics and Bioinformatics at Penn State has given him versatile experiences of generation and analysis of genome-scale high-throughput sequencing data in a mouse model. Dr. Wu’s research has been focusing on elucidating the dynamics of genome-scale epigenetic landscapes in hematopoiesis through next-generation sequencing technology. He has made interesting discoveries about the roles of histone modifications associated with transcription factor binding and gene regulation during erythroid differentiation. Dr. Wu is also making active contributions to both Human ENCODE and Mouse ENCODE projects.