Program Staff


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


Jiande Wu, Ph.D.
Sr. Bioinformatician, Department of Genetics

Bioinformatics and computational genomics
Bioinformatics algorithms
Parallel and distributed computing

Phone: 504-568-2275


Tarun Mamidi, M.S.
Bioinformatics Analyst, Department of Genetics

Bioinformatics and computational genomics
Developing pipelines for NGS projects
Data analysis and visualization


Business Operations



Patricia D'Arensbourg
Manager, Business Operations

Phone: 504-568-7932


Mia K. Hyde
Assistant Manager, Business Operations

Phone: 504-568-7793


Kirsten E. Bruno
Coordinator, Business Operations

Phone: 504-568-6150

Program Members


Allison C. Augustus-Wallace, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Office of Diversity and Community Engagement
Director, Program Development Research.

Mechanism of HECT Domain E3 Ligases Nedd4.1- and Nedd4.2-Catalyzed Polyubiquitin Chain Assembly; Diversity and medical education program development
Diversity program development and Implementation.

Phone: 504-568-5722


Ritu Bhalla, M.D.
Associate Professor of Clinical Pathology and Urology, Department of Pathology

Research Interests
Genito-urinary organs, especially prostate. Recently she was involved in the development of dual antibodies targeting ERG and PTEN; and ERG and SPINK1 status in prostate. With recent changes in Gleason pattern 4, she has participated in projects associated with inter-observer reproducibility in quantification of Gleason pattern 4 and recognition of the various Gleason 4 patterns.

Phone: 504-568-6031


Jennifer E. Cameron, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Parasitology
and the Stanley S. Scott Cancer Center

Application of large-scale genomic screens to identify molecular signatures that predict cancer development. Her goal is to translate those findings into prognostic clinical tests and therapeutic interventions to prevent cancer. She currently has NCI funding to explore microRNA signatures that predict the outcome of low-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia, an early precursor of cervical cancer.

Phone:  504-568-2785


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


Alix D’Angelo, MGC, CGC
Instructor, Department of Genetics & Precision Medicine Program.

She is a Certified Genetic Counselor who currently specializes in cancer genetic counseling. She evaluates patients with personal and family histories that are suggestive of hereditary cancer syndromes.  As part of this evaluation she analyzes pedigrees, discusses inheritance patterns, genetic testing options and screening and management recommendations, assesses risks to family members and provides referrals to support groups. She is working on establishing genetic counseling services in other specialties such as Cardiology and Neurology.

Phone: 504-568-2668


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


Camille M. Fournet, BS, RN
Nurse Coordinator and Clinical Research Associate
Department of Genetics and Precision Medicine Program

Phone: 504-568-2584


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


Lucio Miele, MD, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair, Department of Genetics
Director, Inter-institutional Programs, Stanley S. Scott Cancer Center and Louisiana Cancer Research Consortium

Biomedical informatics strategies for integrating omics with electronic health records. Molecular basis of health disparities in triple-negative breast cancer. Functional characterization of the genetic circuitry mediating the Notch signaling pathway in human tumors. Clinical trials using genomic biomarkers as correlative endpoints.

Phone: 504-568-8088


Krzysztof Reiss, Ph.D.
Professor of Medicine, Department of Medicine
Director, Stanley S. Scott Cancer Center Neurological Cancer Research program

Genomic dissection of the molecular basis of brain tumors. Discovery and functional characterization of clinically actionable biomarkers and therapeutic targets in brain tumors. Molecular biological pathways driving brain tumor development and progression, including Glioblastomas and Medulloblastomas.

Phone: 504-210-2977


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


Former Members


Gene Blanchard, B.S.
IT Analyst (Taylor Lab)
Department of Microbiology, Immunology & Parasitology

Current research focuses on the interactions of microbial communities and the development of new software for analysis and profiling of community structure.

Phone: 504-568-2215 


Antonio Pannuti, Ph.D.
Department of Medicine

Role of the Notch paralogs in oncogenesis, particularly in breast cancer, and the molecular effects of pharmacological agents able to inhibit Notch activity, like gamma-secretase inhibitors (GSIs). Our main research aim is to understand how Notch activity interacts with other pathways in the different subtypes of breast cancer, with the ultimate goal of a rational design of effective combination therapies.

Phone: 504-210-3521