Lab Members



Ran Blekhman
Principal Investigator
blekhman ~ umn.edu
(612) 624-4092
(612) 624-6264
blekhmanlab.org
@blekhman
Ran Blekhman is an Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota, with a joint appointment in the Department of Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development, and the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior. Before joining the UofM in 2013, Ran was a Postdoctoral Associate working with Andrew G. Clark at Cornell University. Ran holds a Ph.D. in Human Genetics from The University of Chicago, where he worked with Yoav Gilad.


Karen Tang
Data Analyst
tangx022 ~ umn.edu
Karen is using data mining approaches to identify microbial information in human genomic sequencing data. Karen has extensive background in computational biology and genomic data analysis, and holds a PhD in Biophysics from UCSF.


Gargi Dayama
Postdoctoral Associate
gdayama ~ umn.edu
Publications in Pubmed
Gargi has a Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina, where she studied the gut microbiome in mouse models of colon cancer. She joined the lab in August 2016 after completing a postdoc with Ryan Mills at the University of Michigan. In our lab, Gargi is studying the role of the microbiome in colorectal cancer development and and susceptibility.


Laura Grieneisen
Grand Challenges in Biology Postdoctoral Fellow (starting Summer 2017)
lgrienei ~ nd.edu
@ferocious_sloth
Publications in Pubmed
Laura is studying the effect of host genetics and social behavior on the microbiome using populations of wild baboons in Amboseli, Kenya. Laura holds a B.S. in Biology from the College of William & Mary and an M.S. in Biology from Bucknell University. She is currently completing a Ph.D. with Beth Archie at Notre Dame and will join our lab as a Grand Challenges in Biology Postdoctoral Fellow in Summer 2017.


Sambhawa Pryia
Ph.D. Student (Bioinformatics and Computational Biology)
priya030 ~ umn.edu
Sambhawa joined the lab in August 2016 as a graduate student. Her research focuses on development of analytical methods for joint analysis of microbiome and host genomic data. Before joining the lab, Sambhawa completed an M.S. degree in Computer Science from Lehigh University, and worked on mining genetic data at the Mayo Clinic.


Amanda Muehlbauer
Ph.D. Student (Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior)
muehl038 ~ umn.edu
Amanda is interested in understanding the evolution of host-microbiome interaction by studying non-human primates and diverse human populations. Amanda completed a B.Sc. in Mathematics at the University of Minnesota in 2013, and worked as a Research Associate at UC Berkeley before joining the lab in 2016.


Trevor Gould
Graduate Student (Bioinformatics and Computational Biology)
goul0109 ~ umn.edu
@TrevGould
Trevor joined the lab in 2017 as a graduate student in the BICB program. Trevor's research interest revolve around characterizing the environmental and genetic factors that influence microbiome dynamics across individuals and populations. Trevor holds a B.A in Biology from the University of St. Thomas, an M.S in Biological Anthropology, Evolution, and Behavior from the University of London, and in the last few years has been working as a microbiome data analyst at the University of Minnesota Informatics Institute.

You?

We are looking for highly motivated researchers to join our group! See this page for more details, and contact Ran Blekhman with informal enquires.

Former Lab Members

Postdoctoral Associates


Michael Burns

Postdoctoral Associate (2013-2016)

Current position: Assistant Professor, Loyola University Chicago



Andres Gomez

Postdoctoral Associate (2014-2016)

Current position: Staff Scientist, J. Craig Venter Institute



Elise Morton

Postdoctoral Associate (2014-2016)

Current position: Research Associate, University of Florida

Graduate students


Joshua Lynch

M.S. Student, BICB (2014-2015)

Current Position: Researcher, Insight Centre for Data Analytics

Undergraduate Researchers


Ben Wedin

Undergraduate Researcher (2014)

Current position: Associate Computational Biologist, The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard



Katherine Schroepfer

Undergraduate Researcher (2016)

Current position: Genetic Counseling Graduate Program, University of Minnesota

Tim Reinders

Undergraduate Researcher (2016)

High School Researchers
Joanna Sands

High School Researcher (2014)

Current position: Undergraduate Student, MIT

Margaret Sands

High School Researchers (2014)

Current position: Undergraduate Student, MIT