Frederick A. "Erick" Matsen

Professor, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center;

Affiliate Professor, Genome Sciences & Statistics, University of Washington;

Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute


Research statement: I'm interested in developing Bayesian phylogenetics as an optimization problem, and in understanding the process by which the adaptive immune system learns to recognize foreign antigen.

Personal interests: Historically I've loved climbing, backcountry skiing and kayaking; right now I'm raising two kids.

Hometown: Seattle, WA

Duncan Ralph

Staff scientist


Research statement: I develop computational methods for inference on B cell receptor deep sequencing data, and apply these methods to data from wet lab collaborators at the Hutch and elsewhere. Recent projects include recapitulating the development of broadly-neutralizing anti-HIV antibodies, and choosing antibodies from deep sequencing data for synthesis and testing against dengue virus.

Personal interests: In town I run and gym climb; out of town I climb and ski in the mountains.

Hometown: Arcata, CA

Jared Galloway



Research statement: I like building tools to help researchers interpret data. Recently, I’ve focused on analysis and modeling of protein-antibody interactions.

Personal interests: Away from the keyboard my time is primarily spent cycling, listening to podcasts, reading, skiing, and annoying my cat.

Hometown: Bozeman, MT

Zorian Thornton

Genome Sciences PhD student


Research statement: I am interested in studying how mutations impact the biophysical properties of antibodies and quickly evolving viral proteins using interpretable deep neural networks.

Personal interests: In my free time I enjoy watching history documentaries, blogging, making YouTube videos, baking sweets, playing and watching sports and powerlifting.

Hometown: Goochland, VA

Magdalena "Maggie" Russell

Molecular and Cellular Biology PhD student


Research statement: I’m interested in identifying and understanding genetic biases during the T cell receptor generation process, and how they lead to repertoire variability across individuals and in the context of disease.

Personal interests: I enjoy hiking, cross country and downhill skiing, baking, painting, and crocheting!

Hometown: Bozeman, MT

Kevin Sung

Staff scientist


Research statement: I’m interested in applying mathematical and statistical methods to a variety of topics in immunology.

Personal interests: Sports and food! Particularly basketball and tiramisu...

Hometown: Toronto, ON, Canada

Will Dumm



Research statement: I’m interested in using math to develop new algorithms for phylogenetic inference.

Personal interests: I enjoy hiking, swimming, flying, kayaking, playing violin, and searching for abandoned and unpicked fruit trees.

Hometown: Kodiak, AK

David Rich



Research statement: I’m interested in using my knowledge in computer science and bioinformatics to help research and develop new methods for Bayesian phylogenetic inference.

Personal interests: I enjoy hiking, fly fishing, horseback riding, playing guitar, and gaming.

Hometown: Seeley Lake, MT

Thien Tran

Undergraduate research assistant


Research statement: I’m interested in applying computer science to a variety of problems from different branches of biology.

Personal interests: I enjoy hiking, skiing, and visiting new places with my friends and family. In my free time, I love baking bagels, watching sunsets, and taking care of my plants.

Hometown: Everett, WA

Ognian Milanov



Research statement: I'm passionate about finding elegant C++ designs and implementations for complex real-world and theoretical problems.

Personal interests: Raising kids, off roading, homesteading.

Hometown: Novachene, Bulgaria

Assya Trofimov

Postdoc (joint with Armita Nourmohammad and Phil Bradley)


Research statement: First trained in biochemistry, then computational biology, I will be attempting to model the relationship between an individual's genetic background and their TCR repertoire.

Personal interests: I really enjoy strategy, worker placement and resource management board games - I play every week. I also love videogames, but I’m now great at them. I am a baker - I particularly enjoy trying out new techniques.

Hometown: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Chris Jennings-Shaffer

Staff scientist


Research statement: While I was trained as a number theorist (you can find my articles on, my work has always been computational and now I focus on data science. I am interested in how mathematics applies to solving problems in biology.

Personal interests: I enjoy the occasional hike when the weather is nice, but really I like sitting at home with food and drinks. I should get a cat.

Hometown: Seattle, WA

Hugh Haddox

Project manager


Research statement: Viruses rapidly evolve. So do the immune responses that combat them. I'm interested in tying together high-throughput experimental data and biophysical models to better understand how these processes work.

Personal interests: I love playing soccer, climbing, and trail running. I also love cooking and listening to audiobooks.

Hometown: Denver, CO

Mary Barker



Research statement: (This will probably change once I am there and starting work) I am interested in computational math, in both pure and applied settings. My favorite problems so far are in gerrymandering, moduli theory, and finite element exterior calculus.

Personal interests: I enjoy long hikes, playing and repairing violins, and making new food with people.

Hometown: St. Louis, MO

Jiansi Gao



Research statement: I'm interested in developing Bayesian phylogenetic methods to model the evolution of rapidly evolving pathogens, and efficient numerical algorithms to enable computationally intensive phylogenetic analyses with large datasets.

Personal interests: I enjoy reading about history and staring at maps. I like playing all sorts of sports (not very good at any of them though) and watching some of them (e.g., basketball and F1).

Hometown: Tianjin, China

Claris Winston

Undergraduate research assistant


Research statement: I'm fascinated by the various applications of computer science in several real world scenarios. I'm interested in exploring the intersection of computer science and biological sciences, and applying statistical analysis/machine learning.

Personal interests: I enjoy drawing, gymnastics, and composing music! I also love baking sweet treats and cake decorating.

Hometown: Vienna, VA

William Howard-Snyder


Research statement: I'm excited about applying techniques from computer science to problems in biology and medicine.

Personal interests: Outdoors, I enjoy hiking, snowboarding, and playing tennis. Indoors, I like to play board games like Catan, Chess, and Avalon.

Hometown: Bellingham, WA

Mackenzie Johnson



Research statement: I am interested in improving methods for evolutionary inference on biological sequence data using statistics and deep learning.

Personal interests: I enjoy climbing, hiking, seeing live music, and watching reality TV.

Hometown: Overland Park, KS

Thanasi Bakis

Statistics PhD student (UC Irvine, with Vladimir Minin)


Research statement: My interests revolve around computational statistics and Bayesian inference, and I am currently exploring their applications to phylogenetic inference.

Personal interests: I enjoy music (listening, and playing saxophone) and love to explore boba shops!

Hometown: La Habra, CA

Lena Collienne



Research statement: I am intersted in mathematical and computational phylogenetics, especially applying mathematics to understand evolutionary processes.

Personal interests: In my free time I enjoy horse riding, indoor bouldering and spending time outdoors. I also like baking and coffee.

Hometown: Geeste, Germany

Harry Richman



Research statement: Graphs can be viewed as combinatorial shadows of algebraic curves, and families of graphs can be studied using the same tools used to study families of algebraic curves. I am interested in applying these methods to understanding evolution and phylogenetic networks.

Personal interests: Origami, running, cooking soups, collecting funny math quotes, learning go (weiqi / baduk) as a beginner.

Hometown: Columbia, SC

Seth Temple

Graduate intern 2023 (Statistics PhD student at UW)


Research statement: I'm interested in statistical inference and applied methodology for recent evolution in the context of population genetics and epidemiology.

Personal interests: I enjoy playing competitive soccer, watching medical dramas, and science fiction literature. On Tuesdays, I am currently failing to learn figure skating.

Hometown: Beaverton, Oregon

Omar Abdel Aziz

Undergraduate research assistant


Research statement: As an aspiring computational biologist with a strong background in software engineering and web development, I am passionate about applying my skills to understand and solve complex biological problems. My experience in full-stack development and data analytics have equipped me with the tools necessary to contribute effectively to any project. In the Matsen lab, I look forward to utilizing technology to facilitate research and provide valuable insights into our understanding of biology and genetics.

Personal interests: Soccer, hiking, and spending quality time with friends and family.

Hometown: Kirkland, Washington

Student/Postdoc Alumni

Vu Dinh

Completed postdoc in 2017;

Assistant professor, U. Delaware Mathematical Sciences


Julia Fukuyama

Completed postdoc in 2018;

Assistant professor, Indiana University Bloomington Statistics


David Shaw

Completed postdoc in 2018;

Data Scientist, Mighty AI


Chris Whidden

Completed postdoc in 2018;

Assistant Professor, Dalhousie University Computer Science


Kristian Davidsen

Completed masters/programmer position in 2018;

PhD student, Lucas Sullivan lab


Amrit Dhar

Completed Statistics PhD in 2019;

Data Scientist, Google


Cheng Zhang (张成)

Completed postdoc in 2019;

Assistant professor, Peking University Mathematical Sciences


Jean Feng

Completed Biostatistics PhD in 2020;

Assistant Professor, UCSF Biostatistics and Epidemiology


Branden Olson

Completed Statistics PhD in 2020;

Data Scientist, Workday


Seong-Hwan Jun

Completed postdoc in 2020;

Research Assistant Professor, University of Rochester


Andy Magee

Completed Biology PhD in 2021 (joint with Vladimir Minin);

Senior Data Scientist, CDC


Anna Kooperberg

Undergraduate intern 2021 (CS at MIT);

Hedge fund quant


Michael Karcher

Completed postdoc in 2021;

Assistant Professor, Muhlenberg College


Shosuke Kiami

Undergraduate intern 2021 (CS at UW);


Lucy Yang

Undergraduate intern 2021 (CS at UC Berkeley);


Will DeWitt

Genome Sciences PhD student (joint with Kelley Harris);

Postdoc, Yun Song lab, UC Berkeley


Research statement: I’m broadly interested in computational and mathematical biology, and focus on both quantitative immunology and evolutionary genomics.

Personal interests: I enjoy playing in the snow, cooking, gazing at sunsets, photographing birds, and playing guitar and ukulele.

Hometown: Bradford, VT

Tanvi Ganapathy

High school intern 2021, 2022 (Bioengineering and CS at Caltech);


Research statement: I’m interested in the applications of computer science to solve biological problems and hopefully make these solutions more accessible.

Personal interests: I like skiing, baking, reading science fiction, and playing board games.

Hometown: Bellevue, WA

Alyssa Pratt

SURP intern (Biochemistry and CS at OSU);


Research statement: I’m interested in creating computational tools and algorithms that can be used to model experimental data, especially in the areas of evolutionary and molecular biology.

Personal interests: I like practicing archery, going hiking, cooking, and reading science fiction in my free time!

Hometown: Portland, OR

Yoonseo Song

Undergraduate research assistant (CS at UW);


Personal interests: I love traveling, spending time with family and friends, cooking and baking, and exploring enw food/coffee places!

Hometown: Camas, WA and Seoul, South Korea

Hassan Nasif

Statistics MS student;

Data Scientist, Microsoft


Research statement: I’m interested in developing fast and statistically rigorous algorithms for Bayesian phylogenetic inference, with a focus on variational inference and optimization.

Personal interests: I love to hike, weightlift, read science fiction, play board games, and enjoy good coffee/tea/food with friends.

Hometown: Raleigh, NC

Joseph Brew

Graduate intern 2023 (Computational Biology MPhil student at Cambridge University);


Research statement: Investigating the evolutionary dynamics of Ebola.

Hometown: London, UK

Cameron Cooper

Undergraduate intern 2023 (Biology at Morehouse College);


Research statement: During my internship in the Matsen Lab, I was particularly enthusiastic about delving into the realm of computational biology and mastering the art of coding to analyze extensive datasets. Our project focused on discerning trends among various SARS-CoV-2 variants and the corresponding antibodies that target these distinct variants. It was captivating to uncover insights that could contribute to our understanding of the virus's behavior and aid in the development of effective countermeasures.

Personal interests: Beyond my current endeavors, I'm deeply passionate about forging a career in sport orthopedic surgery. The intricate interplay of biology and mechanics in the human body fascinates me, and I aspire to apply my knowledge to help athletes and individuals regain peak performance. Outside of academics and research, I find joy in scuba diving, fishing, staying active through workouts, immersing myself in nature, and enjoying video games with friends.

Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia

Javen Kent

Undergraduate intern 2023 (Biology at Morehouse College);


Research statement: I currently do not have any research experience at this time but I am working towards a better understanding of public health in regards to environmental biology. This internship will help me further understand the interaction of both topics.

Personal interests: Environmental biology and public health.

Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia

Thayer Fisher

Completed Biostatistics PhD in 2023;

Senior Research Scientist, Applied Research in Acoustics (ARiA)


Research statement: I am interested in how we can model and simulate how B cells mutate at the mechanistic level.

Personal interests: In my spare time I enjoy watching and playing soccer, rock climbing, and playing chess.

Hometown: Seattle, WA

Saoirse "Saoi" Courts

completed Postdoc in 2023;


Research statement: My first loves will always be mathematics and computer science, but I am passionate about finding ways to leverage my interests into creating positive change in the world around me through creative problem solving and the application of technology.

Personal interests: I am a fan of hiking, sailing, and wandering when I am out and about in the world and video games and Chinese tea (pu'er and wulong in particular) when I am at home. Oh, and cuddling with my cat, Emmy!

Hometown: Glendora, CA