School of Medicine

Bioinformatics and Data Science Program

Program Faculty


Chindo Hicks, Ph.D.
Professor and Program Director, Department of Genetics

Bioinformatics and computational genomics
Multiplatform and multiscale data analysis and integration
Genomics and epigenomics of common human diseases
Pathway prediction and modeling gene regulatory networks
Knowledge and Drug discovery using big data

Phone: 504-568-2657


Judy S. Crabtree, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Genetics
Director, School of Medicine Genomics Core

The Crabtree Laboratory focuses on neuroendocrine tumors and uses in vitro, in vivo and genomic strategies to understand mechanisms of tumorigenesis in these tumors.

Phone: 504-568-2963




Zhide Fang, Ph.D.
Professor & Director, Biostatistics, School of Public Health

Bioinformatics: Microarray, Next-generation sequencing data analysis, DNA copy number analysis, Metagenomics, microRNA, Gene set enrichment/Pathway analysis
Design of Experiments: Survival Analysis, Reliability analysis, Statistical computation, Theory of Canonical Moments

Phone:  504-568-6089


Ed Grabczyk, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Genetics, Department of Genetics

DNA mismatch repair (MMR) is essential for maintaining genome integrity.  However, when it comes to certain types of repetitive DNA, MMR actually contributes to genome instability.  We study the dynamic MMR-mediated somatic mutation of disease-causing DNA repeats.

Phone: 504-568-6154


Paula Gregory, Ph.D.
Professor of Genetics, Department of Genetics
Director, Faculty Development Office

Dr. Gregory has a primary focus on training and career development, with a keen interest in genomics education. She is also the PI on studies that use genomics to identify founder gene mutations within the Acadian population that predispose to colon cancer.

Phone: 504-568-6153


Andrew D. Hollenbach, Ph.D.
Professor of Genetics, Department of Genetics

His research focuses on understanding the role of an oncogenic fusion protein, PAX3-FOXO1 in the development of the childhood solid muscle tumor Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma. Specifically, he uses large scale comparative genomics analyses to determine how the oncogene globally alters mRNA and miRNA expression to promote known tumor phenotypes of aneuploidy, chromosomal structure, proliferation and invasion. Further, he is interested in examining primary tumor samples to determine if an altered gene expression signature is prevalent in these tumors, all aimed at using this genomics data for potential therapy development.

phone: 504-568-2431


Hui-Yi Lin, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biostatistics, School of Public Health

Dr. Lin's primary research interest is in gene-gene and gene-environmental interactions. Dr. Lin has participated in several genome-wide association (GWA) studies in various cancers. Her research area is in genetic statistics, including single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), gene expression, methylation data analyses. She has published several statistical methodology papers for evaluating SNP-SNP interactions.

Phone: 504-568-6083


Wanguo Liu, PhD
Professor of Genetics, Department of Genetics and Stanley S. Scott Cancer Center
Morey L. Sear and Dr. Oliver Sartor Endowed Professor for Prostate Cancer

Molecular basis disease aggressiveness and health disparities in prostate cancer among African American men using genetics and genomics approaches. Discovery and functional characterization of clinically actionable biomarkers and therapeutic targets in prostate cancer.

Phone: 504-210-3326


Diptasri Mandal, Ph.D.
Professor of Genetics, Department of Genetics

Dr. Mandal's research focus includes the investigation of the role of genetic loci in susceptibility to complex diseases, in particular, familial prostate cancer and lung cancer. She has expertise in genetic and molecular epidemiology and implements the strategies of linkage analysis, sequencing, and copy number variation analysis in identifying the genetic variants responsible for increased susceptibility to complex diseases.

Phone: 504-568-6156


Christopher M. Taylor, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Microbiology, Immunology, & Parasitology

Dr. Taylor's lab focuses on computational biology and analysis of genomic sequencing data. Our primary research focus is on understanding the composition of bacterial communities and their interaction with the host and influence on behavior and disease states. Our most recent work has investigated the influence of a high fat diet shaped gut microbiota on the behavior of mice, the potential oral vaccination of mice against pneumonia, and the interaction of gut bacterial communities in newborn infants who develop necrotizing enterocolitis. We are also very interested in viral and fungal communities and sequence SIV and Influenza virus strains to investigate sequence variation.

Phone: 504-568-406


Fern Tsien, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Genetics, Department of Genetics
Director, Science Youth Initiative
Director, Research Experiences for Underrepresented Minorities in the Sciences (REU)

Clinical genetics: Chromatin instability in disorders that affect the Louisiana Acadian population and genomics of auditory/communication disorders
Health science education and introduction of research careers to underrepresented minorities in the sciences.

Phone: 504-568-2080


Xi, Yaguang   MD, PhD, MBA
Professor and Vice Chair for Research

Research Interests: The role of MicroRNAs in cancer

Phone: 504-568-2464


Jovanny Zabaleta, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics and Stanley S. Scott Cancer Center

Genomics of inflammatory diseases, especially those in the gastrointestinal tract, including gastritis and gastric, pancreatic and colorectal cancers. Other areas of interest include genomics of prostate, breast cancer and leukemia. Dr. Zabaleta is the contact person for the SSSCC Molecular Genomics Core.

Phone: 504-210 2979