People

 

Michael Chimenti, PhD, Director-Bioinformatics Division

Michael is the Director of the IIHG Bioinformatics Division.  He is focused on staying current with developments in bioinformatics and computational biology to anticipate and respond to the changing analysis needs of the University of Iowa research community.  He leads a research staff of 3 people, including a full-time systems administrator that helps to coordinate the substantial genomics compute infrastructure of the IIHG. He is also bioinformatics testing director for the IIHG's CAP-certified KidneySeq targeted panel test.  

Michael is a research scientist with many years of broad experience in the fields of bioinformatics, computational chemistry, and structural biology.  He earned his BS in biochemistry from the University of Iowa in 2003. Next, he went to the Johns Hopkins University and did a PhD studying protein structure/function and electrostatics with Bertrand Garcia-Moreno.  He then headed out for the year-round sunshine and beautiful scenery of the San Francisco Bay Area, doing his postdoc at UCSF with Matt Jacobson and Mark Kelly in computational chemistry, drug design, and labeled NMR of large protein complexes.  In 2015, Michael joined the IIHG as a research scientist. His research interests include integrated analysis of *-seq experiments, machine-learning in bioinformatics, and pipeline design using next-gen tools like NextFlow and Singularity. Michael lives in Iowa City with his wife and two children. He enjoys riding mountain bikes and playing jazz saxophone.

Email: michael-chimenti@uiowa.edu 
Phone: (319) 353-5548


Henry Keen, PhD, Assistant Research Scientist

Henry L. Keen is an Assistant Research Scientist with the Bioinformatics Division of the Iowa Institute of Human Genetics (IIHG). His areas of expertise include analysis of RNA Sequencing data, R programming, genomics, and physiology. He has a diverse background in engineering, computer science, bioinformatics, physiology and genomics. He received a B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering in 1992 from Mississippi State University and a Ph.D. in Physiology and Biophysics from the University of Mississippi Medical Center in 1997. In 2018, he joined the Bioinformatics division of the IIHG and has worked on multiple diverse projects and has collaborated with investigators both on and off campus.

After initially training as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Iowa in molecular biology, genetics, and generation of transgenic mice, he then decided to use his computational skills to address fundamental biological questions by using high throughput technologies and by integrating publicly available datasets. Since joining the staff at the University of Iowa as an Assistant Research Scientist in the laboratory of Curt D. Sigmund, Ph.D., he has been active in the bioinformatics community on campus and has been an author or co-author on manuscripts published in high-impact journals including Cell Metabolism, Hypertension, and Circulation Research.

Email: henry-keen@uiowa.edu 
Phone: (319) 353-5548


Diana Kolbe, PhD, Assistant Research Scientist

Diana Kolbe is an Associate Research Scientist with the IIHG Bioinformatics Division. Her areas of expertise are clinical sequence analysis and pipeline development.
Diana received both a B.S. in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and a B.S in Computer Engineering from Penn State University in 2003. While there, she worked with Dr. Webb Miller and Dr. Ross Harrison on early statistical models of regulatory sequence based on multiple genome alignment. From there, she pursued a Ph.D. in Computational Biology at Washington University in St. Louis, studying with Dr. Sean Eddy. Both in St. Louis and later at the HHMI Janelia Farm campus, Diana worked on algorithm design and implementation for the profile stochastic context-free grammars (SCFGs) used to model non-coding RNAs and their secondary structures. She wrote high-performance code for match detection and alignment using high-parallel vector processing. After earning her Ph.D. in 2010, Diana spent two years as a postdoctoral researcher at the National Human Genome Research Institute with Dr. Laura Elnitski. There she started working with clinical data, looking at methylation micro-arrays of uterine and ovarian cancers.

Diana joined the University of Iowa and the newly formed Bioinformatics Division in 2012. She has worked on a variety of project types, including expression analysis by either micro-array or RNA-seq, but has primarily concentrated on mutational analysis of human clinical sequencing. Projects have included familial exome analysis for rare diseases, patient sequencing for kidney diseases and hearing loss—each of which is genetically heterogeneous—and predictive analysis of drug metabolism to customize drug prescription and dosage. Through this work, she also has experience in clinical pipeline reporting and documentation for regulatory compliance.
Diana served as the director of the Bioinformatics Division from 2017-2019, when she stepped down in order to focus on the needs of the clinical testing arm. She also maintains an appointment with the Molecular Otolaryngology and Renal Research Laboratory (MORL).

Email: diana-kolbe@uiowa.edu
Phone: (319) 353-5548


Brian Ring, Senior Systems Administrator

Email: brian-ring@uiowa.edu 
Phone: (319) 353-5548

 

 

 


      IIHG Bioinformatics