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Current Lab Members

Sohini Ramachandran PI

Sohini Ramachandran joined the faculty of Brown University in July 2010, and was promoted to Associate Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Associate Professor of Computer Science in July 2017. In July 2017, Sohini was also named Director of Brown University's Center for Computational Molecular Biology, after serving as Interim Director from January 2017.
Prior to beginning her faculty appointment at Brown University, Sohini spent 3 years as a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows and postdoctoral fellow in Professor John Wakeley’s group at the Harvard University Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology. She completed her PhD in 2007 with Professor Marcus Feldman at Stanford University’s Department of Biological Sciences.

Current CV and Google Scholar citations

Lauren Alpert Sugden postdoctoral fellow

Lauren Alpert Sugden received her doctorate in Applied Mathematics from Brown University studying under Chip Lawrence, and joined the Ramachandran Lab in June 2014. Her primary research interest is in the inference of selective sweeps from genome-wide data.

Michael Turchin postdoctoral fellow

Michael Turchin received his PhD in Human Genetics from the University of Chicago while working with Matthew Stephens. Michael joined the Ramachandran Lab in October of 2017 and his research interests include human, population, and medical genetics. His current interests include methods development in multi-ethnic GWAS. Michael has also previously worked in the labs of Jonathan Pritchard, Joel Hirschhorn, and Chip Aquadro, and was a NIH NRSA Pre-Doctoral Fellow. For more information, see Michael's professional website.

Priya Nakka graduate student

Priya Nakka majored in Chemistry at Wellesley College and joined the Computational Biology PhD program and the Ramachandran Lab in June 2013. Priya's dissertation presents new methods for identifying the genomic architecture of complex diseases and studying the inheritance of disease markers.

Sahar Shahamatdar graduate student

Sahar Shahamatdar graduated from Brown in 2013 with an Sc.B. in Materials Science Engineering, and joined the Ramachandran lab in the spring of 2016 as a rotation student. Sahar is an MD-PhD student at Brown's Alpert Medical School, and has officially begun her doctoral work as of May 2017. Sahar is currently working in the Ramachandran Lab on identifying signature mutations in cancer genomes and identifying ancestry-informative markers from population-genomic datasets.

Sam Smith graduate student

Sam Smith majored in Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology at Vanderbilt University and joined the Computational Biology PhD program, and the Ramachandran Lab, in June 2017. He studied the evolution of mammalian pregnancy under Antonis Rokas, using the domestic dog as a model for reproductive life history trait variation. During the 2017-2018 academic year, Sam is working on developing methods for multiethnic genome-wide association studies, and for identifying shared gene subnetworks underlying multiple complex traits.

Wei Cheng graduate student

Wei Cheng majored in computational biology and animal science at Cornell University where he studied bioinformatics in Andy Clark's lab. He is interested in studying statistical theory, and in developing computational methods for characterizing evolutionary processes using genomic data.

Elijah Carrel '18

Elijah is a senior undergraduate at Brown concentrating in Computer Science. He joined the Ramachandran lab in October 2017, and is currently working on incorporating additional visualizations into the pong software package.

Former Lab Members

Julia Palacios

Postdoc (2013-2016) -> Assistant Professor at Stanford University, Statistics and Biomedical Data Science.

Stephen Rong

Grad student (2014-2017) -> Fairbrother Lab in Computational Biology and Molecular Biology, Cell Biology and Biochemistry.

Akshay Walia

research assistant (2012-2014) -> Schurr lab at Penn (PhD student).

Aaron Behr '15

UTRA (2014) and thesis student (2015); AB in Computer Science and ScB in Biology (2015); Brown's Kidwell Prize in Genetics and Population Biology (2015) -> Oracle's Big Data Discovery team in Cambridge.

Gracie Liu-Fang '17

funded through an REU supplement to NSF CAREER DBI-1452622 (summer 2015); Computer Science major and Italian Studies minor, Wellesley College '17.

Katie Liu '17

coauthor on pong; funded by Brown University, CCMB, an UTRA (summer 2016), and an REU supplement to NSF CAREER DBI-1452622 (summer 2016); ScB in Computer Science and Religious Studies (2017) -> Microsoft, Seattle as a software engineer on the Shell Team of the Windows and Devices group (summer 2017 - present).

Tyler Dae Devlin '17

researcher during summer 2016-summer 2017, funded by a Summer Research Assistantship under Brown's Program in Liberal Medical Education and NSF CAREER DBI-1452622 -> Class of 2017 Senior Prize in Biology, ScB in Applied Mathematics-Biology -> Software Engineer at, on Yelp’s Messaging Intelligence team.

Annie Fischer '17

Capstone project (Fall 2016) -> technology group at Capital One, Washington DC.

Lilla Sai-Halasz

high school researcher (2012-2014) -> Emory University '18.

Michael Goldberg '13

UTRA (2012) and thesis student (2013); ScB in Biology (2013) -> Fulbright Scholar in Montpelier, France (2013-2014) -> Clinical Data Analyst with Foundation Medicine, Boston MA (09/2014-08/2017) -> PhD student, Genome Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle (09/2017 - present).

Alyna Khan '12

UTRA (2011) and thesis student (2012); AB in Classics and ScB in Biology (2012) -> Simons Fellow in Computational Neuroscience at the Marcus Autism Center in Atlanta, GA (2012-2014).

Maya Ramchandran '15

UTRA (2013) and thesis student (2015); ScB in Applied Mathematics - Biology (2015) -> New England Conservatory of Music (Masters in Violin performance received spring 2017) -> PhD student, Biostatistics, Harvard University (09/2017 - present).

Natalie Van Houten '14

UTRA (2013).


Jun J. Yang

Dr. Yang is on the faculty at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Our collaboration centers around characterizing the evolutionary history of mutations associated with incidence and treatment outcome in acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Noah A. Rosenberg

The Rosenberg lab at Stanford University has been a longtime collaborator with our group in studies of human population structure.

Brenna M. Henn

The Henn Lab at Stony Brook University investigates patterns of human genetic diversity and evolution by pairing genomic datasets with phenotypic, linguistic, and prehistoric information. We are collaborating to generate a new dataset for studying population structure on the Japanese island of Hokkaido.

Benjamin J. Raphael

The Raphael Lab at Princeton University focuses on cancer genomics. We are collaborating on methods for identifying pathways underlying common diseases using germline genetic data from cases and controls.

Joining the Ramachandran Lab

Postdoctoral Fellows

There are positions available for postdoctoral fellows to join the lab. Applicants must have a background in theoretical population genetics with experience analyzing data, or a quantitative background (e.g., statistics, computer science) with a desire to do research in genetics and evolutionary biology. Programming skills and proficiency in Unix-based computing environments are very desirable. Successful candidates may develop projects related to any of the lab’s research topics, or propose new projects related to the lab's interests.

Informal inquiries as well as applications (consisting of a CV, copies of relevant publications, and contact information for at least two references) should be emailed to Sohini Ramachandran.

Graduate Students

The Ramachandran lab is recruiting prospective PhD students interested either in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology or the Center for Compuational Molecular Biology. For information, see the doctoral program pages and email Sohini Ramachandran.


Undergraduates interested in pursuing research in the lab should ideally have taken at least one semester of programming (e.g. CS150 or CS170) at Brown; familiarity with Unix utilities, Perl, and/or R is a plus. Email Sohini Ramachandran about joining the lab, and also note that UTRA can fund undergraduate researchers for a semester or the summer.