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Current Lab Members


I am an Associate Professor at the department of Veterinary Microbiology & Preventive Medicine at Iowa State University. I am interested in large scale analyses of protein sequence, structure and function connections, genome evolution, metagenome analysis and computational protein function prediction. I am leading CAFA, the Critical Assessment of Function Annotations, a global community effort to improve our ability to predict protein function from sequence.

In my spare time (ha!) I enjoy long distance running, old 70's cop shows, spaghetti westerns, and embarrassing my kids.

Iddo Friedberg, PhD
Position: Associate Professor, Principal Investigator

My interests include genomics, comparative genomics, Pan-genome, Metagenomics, phylogenetics, bioinformatics tools design, big data analysis and application of machine learning in biology. My current research involves metagenomic analysis pipeline design and operon prediction. I hope to find regulatory gene networks that can help us to better understand microbial evolution.

In my spare time, I like to watch and play football (==soccer).

Xiao Hu, PhD
Positon: Postdoctoral Associate

I am a PhD Student in the Friedberg Lab. My research interests include genomics, bacteriocins, application of machine learning in bioinformatics and contributing to the open source community (check out my GSOC 2015 project). My current research involves finding new bacteriocins through context genes - genes that are proximal to bacteriocins, and have shown to be largely conserved across species. Python is by far my favorite language though Arabic and Scheme come in as a strong second. I also have a deep interest in programming languages and how they work (in an alternate universe, I am doing a PhD in that). I really like to travel. I have visited almost every significant place in my home country, Bangladesh. Now that I am in US, I have already visited 5 states within one and a half years. I love reading books, watching MacGyver and Chlesea's matches during weekends. But when I am online, mostly I am reading hacker news. You can check out my blog too.

Md-Nafiz Hamid
Positon: PhD Student

I am a PhD student in the Friedberg lab. My research interests include spatial statistics and its application on genomic data, protein function prediction, functional annotation and ontologies, as well as bayesian statistics, and spatial-temporal data analysis.
I love reading, travelling and cooking. I'm a fan of FC Barcelona.

Ashley Zhou
Positon: PhD Student

Once upon a time, far away from the Western side of the world, there resides an interesting creature name Scoobi Huy. Day by day, he develops an interest in algorithm and bioinformatics by staring at the corn field and listening to the cow humming. He often contemplates on how such beautiful cow comes into being, and its wonderful evolution complexity. Recently, he takes a crack at understanding this process, and somewhat achieves meaningful results with his favorite pipeline (ROAGUE).

On more serious note, I am very interested in utilizing computational power to solve difficult biological problems. I am currently working on ancestral reconstruction of conserved gene blocks in bacteria. In addition, I am learning more about tree reconciliations under different models.

In my free time, Dota 2 is a game I love to watch and play (not anymore). Dancing, cooking, singing (screaming) are something my labmates get to witness and suffer. Yay!

Huy Nguyen
Positon: PhD Student 

I am a first year Phd student in the Computer Science deptartment. My current goal is expand my undetsanding of the programming that drives the projects in this lab, helping to optimize and follow good coding practices. In time I hope to become more involved in the research as I get a better understanding of bioinformatics.

In my free time I am an avid sports fan, primarily football (American) at any level. I also enjoy doing electronics projects around the house or the occasional woodworking project. I also love Sim City 4, I know newer ones exist but ain't nothing like a classic.

Michael Gerten
Positon: PhD Student

Lab Alumni

Jake Gregg:                   Seattle, WA
Osama Jomaa:                      Expedia, Bellevue, WA
Ataur Katebi:                          Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, ME
Ashwani Kumar:                    University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, TX
James Morton:                      University of California, San Diego, CA
Andrew Oberlin:          , Seattle, WA
Asma Riyaz:                           Broad Institute, Boston, MA
Rajeswari Swaminathan:    Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, OH
Alexander Thorman:            University of Cincinnati School of Medicine, OH