People

Lab pizza & beer night at Homeslice (November 2021). Front to back, left: Carrie, Joyce and Matt; right: Arbel, Amber and Rebecca.

Arbel Harpak | Principal Investigator

Arbel is an Assistant Professor affiliated with both the Division of Health Informatics and Data Science in the Department of Population Health at the Dell Medical School and the Department of Integrative Biology at the College of Natural Sciences. Previously, Arbel was a Simons Foundation Fellow in Dr. Molly Przeworski’s lab at Columbia University. He holds a B.S. in both mathematics and physics and an M.S. in ecology, evolution and behavior from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, advised by Dr. Guy Sella. He also holds an M.S. in statistics and a Ph.D. in biology from Stanford University, where he was advised by Dr. Jonathan Pritchard as a Stanford Center for Computational, Evolutionary and Human Genomics Fellow.

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Carrie Zhu | Research Scientist

Carrie completed her Bachelor's degree at UT Austin studying Management Information Systems and pursuing the Elements of Computing Certificate and Pre-Medical track. She is interested in genomic research and its clinical applications. Beginning fall '22, she she will attend a MD program, and hopes to combine clinical work with research. Outside of research, she enjoys playing volleyball and tutoring children.

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Liaoyi Xu | PhD Student

Liaoyi is a graduate student in the Cell and Molecular Biology program doing a rotation project in the lab. Before starting at UT Austin, he received his Master's degree in Animal Science at Zhejiang University. He is broadly interested in bioinformatics and computational biology. Outside the lab, Liaoyi enjoys playing table tennis and badminton.

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Eric Weine | Research Scientist

Eric received his Bachelor's and Master's, both in Statistics, at the University of Chicago in 2019. Before joining the lab, he was a Quantitative Analyst at the Los Angeles Dodgers. Broadly, he's interested in applying statistics and machine learning to large genomic datasets. Outside of research, Eric enjoys rock climbing, watching baseball, and listening to live jazz.



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Joyce Wang | PhD Student

Joyce received her B.S. in Biology from UT Austin and is currently a graduate student in the Cell and Molecular Biology program. She is broadly interested in computational biology. After her rotation in the lab, Joyce joined the Narasimhan Lab, but is continuing her collaboration with us on understanding the relationship between genetic ancestry and the portability of polygenic scores. Outside the lab, Joyce enjoys baking and photography.



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Lisa Phan | PhD Student

Lisa is a rotating graduate student in the Cell and Molecular Biology Program at UT Austin. She received her B.S. in Biochemistry with a Math minor in Southern Methodist University, Dallas. She is interested in quantitative biology and the evolution of protein. When not in the lab, she enjoys reading, playing the kalimba, and listening to TED Talks.

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Devansh Pandey | PhD Student

Devansh received his dual degree (B.Tech (Hons) and M.Tech) in Biotechnology and Biochemical Engineering from IIT Kharagpur and is currently a graduate student in the Cell and Molecular Biology program and a member of the Narasimhan group who is joining us for a rotation project. He is broadly interested in population genetics and machine learning. Outside the lab, Devansh enjoys kayaking and playing board games.

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Matt Ming | PhD Student

Matt is a graduate student in the Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior program joint between the Harpak Lab and the Kirkpatrick Lab. He received his B.A. in Biology at Cornell University. He is broadly interested in population genetics, evolution, and computational biology. Outside the lab, Matt enjoys rock climbing, playing board games, and watching movies.

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Alumni

Olivia Smith | PhD Rotation Student

Olivia is a graduate student in the Cell and Molecular Biology program and in the Narasimhan Lab. She rotated in our lab in Spring '21, and continues to collaborate with us in her work characterizing signals of recent polygenic adaptation in humans using ancient DNA data. Olivia has a B.S. in Biochemistry and a minor in Biomedical Engineering from Colorado State University. Her research background is in high-throughput microbial engineering for biotech and agbiotech. She is broadly interested in computational biology. When Olivia is not working, she likes to go on bike tours and draw botanical illustrations.

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Sean Lau | Undergraduate Student

Sean is a pre-medical undergraduate student at UT Austin pursuing Bachelor's degrees in both Biology and Management. He is interested in population genetics, evolution, and their applications in medicine. Outside of research, Sean enjoys playing soccer, basketball, hiking, and listening to music.

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Rebecca Knowlton | PhD Rotation Student

Rebecca is a PhD student in Statistics and Data Science and has completed a research elective with the lab. She had received her B.A in Mathematics from Trinity University and worked as an actuarial analyst for three years before starting her graduate program. Outside of work, she enjoys board games, reading, watching movies, and hiking.

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Amber Day | PhD Rotation Student

Amber is a graduate student in Statistics and Data Science and did a research elective in the lab. She had completed her Bachelor's degree at Texas State University studying Mathematics and Secondary Education and a Master's degree at the University of Rochester in Mathematics Education and one Master's degree at the State University of New York Brockport in Mathematics. Amber's research interests include functional graphical models, machine learning, biostatistics, and applications in the social sciences.

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