The Bioinformatics Interdepartmental Graduate Program welcome applications from all students.  We especially encourage students from groups underrepresented in Bioinformatics to apply.

UCLA Office of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

Faculty Research Highlight

Dr. Paivi Pajukanta

Professor of Human Genetics, UCLA

Dr. Pajukanta’s research group is interested in integrative genomics of complex cardiovascular and metabolic disorders. Her lab has conducted several genome-wide scans and identified DNA sequence variants, genes and pathways for complex cardiovascular and metabolic traits. Dr. Pajukanta’s laboratory has performed some of the first genetic studies of admixed Latino populations that have been underrepresented in genomic studies despite their high predisposition to dyslipidemia and cardiovascular disease. Her laboratory designed a new approach to genome-wide association studies and identified genes that may predispose modern Mexicans to dyslipidemia and obesity. Her research group is currently performing extensive RNA-sequencing studies to search for context-specific transcriptional changes in human adipose and liver tissues, contributing to obesity and dyslipidemia.

Dr. Loes Odes Loohuis

Assistant Professor of Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences, UCLA

Dr. Loohuis studies the genetics of severe mental illness. With her lab, she aims to characterize and predict psychiatric disease trajectories using genetic and high-dimensional phenotypic data resources, such as electronic health records. Her lab focuses on developing techniques to extract psychiatric phenotypic signatures from EHR data and develop meaningful patient representations from such resources that can be used in prediction and aid genetic discovery. Her research has a special focus the study of admixed Latin American populations.

Student Research Highlights

Kofi Amoah is a Bioinformatics PhD student who received his BA in Biology from Fisk University.  Previously, he worked with ChIP- and RNA-Seq data to explore the effects of histone methylations on splicing in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.  He also analyzed RNA-Seq data to identify differentially-expressed genes that may be driving antibiotic resistance in three strains of Acinetobacter baumanniii.  Kofi is primarily interested in multi-omics integration, cancer genomics and biomedical data science.

Maria Flores attended San Francisco State University where she received her BS in Cell and Molecular Biology and a minor in Computer Applications. She is interested in studying data sets using computational tools to analyze genetic variation in populations from a forensics perspective.

Clara Frydman joined the Bioinformatics IDP in 2022. Before enrolling at UCLA, she completed her BSc in Computer Science and Bioinformatics at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, where her research focused on RNA processing. She is interested in ways to use multi-dimensional data to predict disease trajectories, as well as further exploring RNA biology.

Juan De la Hoz is interested in understanding the genetic basis of severe mental illness on a recently admixed population, his current work focuses on phenotyping relevant psychiatric traits using Electronic Health Records. Prior to joining the Bioinformatics program he finished his bachelor’s in microbiology from the Universidad de Los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia, and worked on agricultural genomics at CIAT, where he contributed to the NGS analysis software NGSEP ( Juan received the Fulbright-Colciencias scholarship for his PhD studies.

After Favour Esedebe received her B.S. from Fisk University where she studied Biochemistry and Computer Science, she worked as a Research Assistant in the Graeber Lab at UCLA. Her research interests include developing methods to improve understanding of cancer disease mechanisms.

Jonathan Hervoso graduated from the University of Michigan in 2019 with a B.S.E in Biomedical Engineering. During my undergrad years, I conducted research on autoimmune diseases, specifically the role that certain microRNAs play in the immunopathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis. I’m currently interested in multi-omics integration to study complex traits, rare gene variation, and cell heterogeneity.