Michael “Doc” Edge, principal investigator (email: edgem [at] usc [dot] edu). Doc is an assistant professor in the Department of Quantitative and Computational Biology at USC. His research group develops statistical methods and mathematical models in evolutionary genetics, with a particular focus on the intersections of evolutionary genetics with medical and forensic applications. Doc’s PhD in Biology is from Stanford University, where he was advised by Noah Rosenberg. He did postdoctoral research at the University of California, Davis, with Graham Coop. Doc also holds master’s degrees in statistics and psychology from UC Berkeley and a bachelor’s degree in human biology from Stanford University. Doc wrote a coursebook in statistics for advanced undergraduates and beginning graduate students, Statistical Thinking from Scratch, published by Oxford University Press.

Vivian Link, postdoctoral researcher. Vivian started her postdoc in May 2020. Prior to coming to USC, Vivian earned her PhD in computational biology from the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, under the supervision of Daniel Wegmann. In her PhD, she developed computational tools to study genetic diversity in ancient samples and used them to investigate human history. She is now interested in studying the genetic basis of complex traits using ancestral recombination graphs.

Junjian (Janis) Liu, graduate student. Janis is a PhD student in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics (CBB) program. She completed a master’s degree in biostatistics at UNC-Chapel Hill and a bachelor’s degree in pharmacoeconomics at China Pharmaceutical University. She is interested in the statistical analysis of trait differentiation and heritability in admixed populations. She also has an interest in exploring the potential of precision population health.

Obadiah Mulder, graduate student. Obadiah is a PhD student in the Computational Biology and Biostatistics (CBB) program. Obadiah’s undergraduate degree was in Biology at Green Mountain College, with a focus on Bayesian analytical techniques. He is working on modeling signaling interactions in bacterial biofilms and on using estimated ancestral recombination graphs to understand the evolution of complex traits.

Feriel Ouerghi, PhD student. Feriel is a PhD student in the Computational Biology and Biomedical Informatics (CBB) program. She graduated from Amherst College with degrees in Computer Science and Sexuality, Women’s and Gender Studies. Before starting her graduate degree, she worked in the Ishizuka Lab at the Yale Cancer Center where she studied the relationship between interferon signaling and immunotherapy responses. She is now interested in studying how to preserve data privacy in forensic genetics.

Dandan Peng, graduate student. Dandan is a PhD student in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics (CBB). She completed a bachelor’s degree in plant protection at China Agricultural University and a master’s degree at ETH Zurich. She is interested in population stratification in genome-wide association studies (GWAS), and she is also working on using estimated ancestral recombination graphs to understand complex trait evolution.

Joshua Schraiber, research scientist. Josh is a computational biologist interested in evolutionary biology and genetics. Prior to coming to USC, Josh did a PhD with Monty Slatkin at UC Berkeley and a postdoc with Josh Akey at the University of Washington. After his postdoc, he was an assistant professor at Temple University and then filled research roles at Ancestry and Illumina. Josh has worked in diverse systems including humans, pigs, and yeast, and at USC, he is pursuing similarly diverse projects exploring the distribution and genetic and phenotypic variation within and between species. Josh works jointly with the lab of Matt Pennell, also in QCB. Outside of his scientific interests, he’s interested in video games, climbing, basketball, death metal, housing policy, and fashion.


Tina Lasisi, postdoctoral researcher. Tina started her postdoc, joint with Jazlyn Mooney, in August 2022. Before that, Tina was a postdoc at Penn State where she also earned her PhD in Biological Anthropology under the supervision of Nina Jablonski and Mark Shriver. In the lab, she worked on the population genetics of investigative genetic genealogy. She finished her postdoc in 2023 and is now on the faculty of the University of Michigan, Department of Anthropology.

Sanjana Paye, undergraduate. Sanjana worked in the lab beginning in her sophomore year and majored in quantitative biology. In the lab, she worked on understanding implications for statistical genetics of some mathematical bounds on population-genetic statistics. After graduating in 2023, she enrolled as an MD-PhD student at the University of Michigan.

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