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Principal Investigator


Gangqing (Michael) Hu, Ph.D

07/2019 - Present: Tenure Track Assistant Professor
07/2019 - Present: Director of the Bioinformatics Core
Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Cell Biology
School of Medicine
West Virginia University
07/2013-06/2019: Staff Scientist
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health
07/2009-06/2013: Postdoctoral Associate
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health
09/2004 - 08/2009: Ph.D. in BME
Peking University, Beijing, China
09/2000 - 07/2004: B.S. in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics
Peking University, Beijing, China

PhD Students


Sebastian Adam Dziadowicz

01/2020 ~ Present
Joined as a PhD student in Immunology and Microbial Pathogenesis at WVU. Sebastrian received his bachelor’s in immunology and medical microbiology from West Virginia University (class of 2019). His current work revolves around studying epigenetic changes that occur in multiple myeloma cells following stimuli from the tumour microenvironment or drug treatment. In his free time he enjoys exploring the wonderful state of West Virginia.

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Halima Akhter

Joined as a PhD student in Computer Science at WVU in Spring 2021. Halima got her Bsc. in Computer Science from Stamford University Bangladesh (class of 2014). Afterwards, she has worked as a software engineer in several multinational companies, focusing on machine learning and human-computer interactions. She likes to work with BIG data, implement computational algorithms, and figure out innovative ways for data visualization. Besides, she enjoys reading books, listening to music, and writing blogs on computer programming.

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Weijun Yi

Joined as a PH.D. student in Computer Science at WVU. Weijun got his bachelor’s in Information Management from Central China Normal University (class of 2000) and MBA from Wuhan University (class of 2007). Since Fall 2017, he has studied at the department of computer science. He has possessed the professional knowledge on computer science, especially in data mining with machine learning and deep learning techniques. In his spare time, he enjoys reading and travelling with families.

Master Students

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Drake Aesoph

08/2020 ~ Present
Joined as a MS in Computer Science at WVU. Drake earned his bachelor's degree in computer science at California University of Pennsylvania (class of 2020). While there, he was a member of the ALD national honor society, served as multiple officers of the Lion's club, and received the Arthur & Millicent Gabriel Math, CS/CIS Merit Award. In his free time, he enjoys making music, programming, and running.


Jasleen Gandhi

08/2020 ~ Present
Joined as a MS in Biomedical Sciences. Graduated with two bachelor's degrees in biology and multidisciplinary studies with minors in psychology, leadership studies, and nutrition from WVU (class of 2020). Interested in genomics, microbiome research, and computational neuroscience. Received the International Student Tuition Merit Award, Sidney Harman Vision Scholarship, Office of Global Affairs Scholarship, Honors Dean's List 2015-2020 as an undergraduate. Enthusiastic about traveling, volunteer service, and art in her spare time.

Undergraduate students


Nikki Cannon (Class of 2022)

07/2020 ~ Present
Nikki is an undergraduate student majoring in Biology at WVU. She joins the lab with many honors and awards including the President’s List (2018, 2019, 2020, 2021), Gilman Scholar (2021), Outstanding Student (2020), Whitmore-Gates Scholar Award (2020), and General Chemistry Award (2019). She is interested in microbiology, immunology, and genomics research. Her graduate educational goals include advancing research in host-microbiome interactions and continuing education in microbiology and bioinformatics. She enjoys gardening, kayaking, and reading.

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Emily Lecea (Class of 2023)

07/2020 ~ Present
Emily, President’s List of 2020 and Runners-Up awardee for the 2021 Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium in the Health Science category, is an undergraduate student currently studying Immunology and Medical Microbiology with a minor in Statistics at WVU. She is interested in epidemiology and genomics. Favorite things to do in her spare time include reading, puzzles, and video games.

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Lev Invanov (Class of 2023)

07/2020 ~ Present
Lev is an undergraduate Bioengineering major at the University of Pittsburgh and member of the Swanson School of Engineering's and the Dean’s Honors List. He is interested in Biomechanics, Tissue Engineering, and Biostatistics, with a specific interest in artificial organ development. His graduate goals revolve around the necessary qualifications and specifications to become a leading figure in artificial organ development. In his free time, Lev loves watching Soccer, reading, and playing video games.

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Rachel Mangano (Class of 2023)

11/2020 ~ Present
Rachel is a Dean’ List undergraduate student currently studying Immunology and Medical Microbiology at West Virginia University. She is interested in studying epidemiology after college. She is a mentor for freshman students in the Honors College by teaching their Honors seminar. Her favorite things to do during her down time are oil painting, drawing, as well as spending time with family and friends.

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Garrett Perkins (Class of 2023)

09/2021 ~ Present
Garrett is an undergraduate student at West Virginia University currently studying Immunology and Medical Microbiology. With intentions to attain his M.D., he is a member of the WVU Pre-Med Track Program. A President’s List honoree of 2020, he also plans to eventually study or intern abroad. Aside from his educational endeavors, he is passionate about traveling and playing the sport of tennis. For the 2021-22 school year, he is serving as the president for the university’s club tennis team.

Lab Assistants

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Sean Elliott

06/2021 ~ Present
Joined as a student worker. Sean is a 2nd-year Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) student at WVU School of Music. He has a Master of Music degree from Carnegie Mellon University and a B.A. in Music/ minor in Philosophy from WVU. He is interested in Bioinformatics and Immunology and has worked as a contact tracer for WVU Student Health during the COVID-19 pandemic. His hobbies include cooking, gaming, and playing with a community orchestra.

Lab Alumni

Aniello Infante (Bioinformatician)

Nicolas Bugueno (undergraduate volunteer)

Jacob Nead (undergraduate student worker)

Evan Ballard (undergraduate student worker)

Olamide Adegbamigbe (undergraduate summer intern)

Muhammad Shahid (Postdoctoral Associate)