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UTHSC Lab Members

Jin-Young Lee, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Jay is a postdoctoral fellow at UTHSC in the Hayes Lab. He received his B.S. in Biochemistry in 2017 and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry in 2023. During his doctoral studies, he primarily worked on the bioinformatic analysis of short- and long-read sequencing data to study polymorphic structural variations in multi-ethnic populations and somatic genome rearrangements in cancer patients. He joined the Hayes Lab in 2023, and his current research is focused on the development of computational methods for analyzing copy number and structural variations using cancer genome sequencing data.

WonYoung Choi, PhD

Won-Young is a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Cancer Research of University of Tennessee Health Science Center. He received a Ph.D in 2020 in Integrated Omics for Biomedical from Yonsei University, South Korea. During his doctoral degree, he was interested in epigenomic mechanisms of neuronal development using induced pluripotent stem cell. He joined the Hayes Lab in 2021. His current research is developing computational methods integrating epigenomic data such as ChIP-seq, ATAC-seq and HiChIP data with single base resolution RNA-seq shape data.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Jeremiah Holt, B.S. 

MD/PhD student, NCI F30 NRSA funded

Jeremiah is an MD/PhD graduate student at UTHSC. He graduated with a B.S. in Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology and a minor in Computer Science from the University of Tennessee Knoxville in 2017. His current research focuses are in the clinical and functional applications of bioinformatics and genomics in cancer.

Jeremiah’s Publications

Xiaobei Zhao, Computational Biologist, PhD

Xiaobei is a computational biologist at UTHSC. She received her B.S. in Biotechnology from Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China and her Ph.D. in Bioinformatics from University of Copenhagen in Denmark before eventually joining Hayes lab in 2012. Her current research focuses on computational analysis and algorithm of next generation sequencing data in translational science. Xiaobei loves traveling and you can most likely find her hanging out with her family or curled up with a good book and coffee on the weekends.

Xiaobei’s publications


Hyo Young Choi, Computational Biologist, PhD

Hyo Young was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital from 2018-2020. She received a Ph.D in 2018 Summer in Statistics from UNC Chapel Hill under guidance of Steve Marron and Neil Hayes. She is interested in the development of statistical models better describing real biological variation, that can be widely applied to cancer research and beyond, as well as new methods to reveal novel scientific findings. Specifically, She develops statistical and computational tools for high-throughput sequencing data to find unknown genetic aberrations that are associated with cancer. She is also interested in applying techniques from machine learning and high-dimensional data analysis to modern genomic data types. Hyo Young received a position as Assistant Professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine. Congratulations!

 Hyo Young’s publications

Heejoon Jo, Computational Biologist, MPH

Heejoon is a computational biologist at UTHSC and St. Jude Children’s research hospital. He received his MPH in Biostatistics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his BA in Mathematics and Economics from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He joined the Hayes lab in June 2013. His research interests lie in cancer genomics, especially annotating genome/transcriptome and molecular profiling using DNA- and RNA-seq data.

Heejoon’s publications

Janine Twitchell, Sr. Administrative Assistant

Janine is a new comer to the Memphis area, she moved from Oklahoma and we are delighted to have her as part of the Hayes Lab Team. She brings over 19 years administrative experience to the team. This is a highly productive team and in addition to her professional contributions she is an approachable individual with a pleasant attitude and her willingness to create a positive environment keeps everyone smiling. During her “spare-time” she enjoys anything outdoors, i.e., running, hiking, cycling, kayaking and tinkers with photography. She maintains an active lifestyle and finds delight encouraging others to find their way into the great outdoors.

Helene Tournu, PhD, Research Associate

Helene joined the Hayes’ team in October 2018. She brings a background in biotechnology and microbiology.

Helene’s publications

Michele Hayward

Michele Hayward, RD

Michele came to UNC in 2007 and is a results-focused translational science researcher. As a long-term colleague of Dr. Hayes, she supports ongoing collaborations between UNC and UTHSC. At UNC, she provides executive oversight of the Office of Genomics Research, building productive teams that are committed to fighting the devastation that a cancer diagnosis brings. She keeps busy in her spare time as a proud mom of two and is active in her church choir. When there is down time, you can find her with a good book or an action-packed forensic drama and a cup of tea. She feels very blessed to be surrounded by brilliant minds and challenging science.

Michele’s publications

Xiaoying Yin

Xiaoying Yin, MD

Xiaoying’s publications

Ashley Salazar

Ashley Salazar, BA

Ashley’s publications

Paul Little

Paul Little, PhD student
Paul is from Fayetteville, NC. He came to UNC in 2007 as an undergraduate after graduating from NCSSM in Durham, NC. During his undergraduate years, he majored in Mathematics and Asian Studies, minored in Physics, and started learning tennis for fun. After graduating, he worked for a few months at WebAssign as a programmer.  After almost a year, he came back to UNC for a masters in biostatistics. After the first year classes and exposure to research computing and genetics through part-time research opportunities, he applied to transfer into the PhD program. In the midst of his second year in the PhD, Paul joined the Hayes lab.  His research interests include human genetics and cancer genomics. His aim is to develop analytical methods for studying DNA germline and somatic variants and their associations with clinical outcomes.

Matthew Cousins

Matthew Cousins, MD, PhD student

Matthew’s publications

Woochang Lee, MD, PhD

Woochang’s publications

Matthew Revilla, BA

Matthew’s publications

Patrick Kimes, PhD

Patrick’s publications

Chris Cabanski, PhD

Chris’ publications

Wisut Lamlertthon, MD

Wisut’s publications

Sang-Won Um, MD, MPH, PhD

Sang-Won’s publications

Ping-jie Xiao, PhD

Ping-jie’s publications


Thomas Stewart, MS, PhD student

Thomas’ publications

Ni Zhao, MD, MS

Ni’s publications

Vonn Walter, PhD

Vonn’s publications

Ying Du, PhD

Ying’s pubications

Guosheng Zhang, PhD student

Guosheng’s publications

Matthew D. Wilkerson, PhD

Matthew’s publications

Marni Siegel, MD/PhD student

Marni’s publications

Matthew Soloway, BS

Matthew’s publications

Mei Kim Ang, MD

Mei’s publications

Mihir Patel, MD

Mihir’s publications

Amy Lucas, MD

Amy’s publications

Juneko Grilley-Olson, MD

Juneko’s publications

Shaowu Meng, PhD

Shaowu’s publications

Usman Shah, MD

Usman’s publications

Yuan Qi, PhD

Yuan’s publications

Carrie Lee, MD

Carrie’s publications

Steve Lee, MD

Steve’s publications

Alden Parsons, MD

Alden’s publications