Last updated: 07-21-2022

Informatics Scientists and Software Developers

Informatics scientists and software developers play a crucial role in NCATS translational programs and work closely with experts in other biomedical and translational research fields (biology, chemistry, epidemiology, biostatistics, etc.) within and outside NCATS. Collectively, they address the full breadth of translational science challenges, including drug development and repurposing; the development of model systems for drug and toxicity screening; and the development of comprehensive and state-of-the-art software, resources and analytical tools. To meet these broad demands, NCATS’ informatics scientists and software developers work cross-functionally and have a wide array of expertise.

Learn more about our:

Bioinformaticians

John Braisted

John Braisted, B.S.

Informatics Scientist/Engineer, Informatics Core

John received a B.S. in zoology in 1983 from the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP), with a focus on human physiology and biochemistry. He applied this degree in basic and applied research at the Naval Medical Research Institute, studying free radical mechanisms of toxicity and relevance to hyperbaric oxygen treatment. John then received a B.S. in computer science in 2002 from UMCP, with a focus on software engineering algorithms and computational analysis. He worked for 10 years as a software engineer and software engineer manager at The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR), which later became the J. Craig Venter Institute, where his work focused on developing tools for -omics analysis. John joined NCATS in 2012 in a combination role of software developer and data scientist on multi-omics and small-molecule high-throughput screening projects.

Haley Chatelaine

Haley Chatelaine, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow, Informatics Core

Haley received a Bachelor of Arts in chemistry from the College of Saint Benedict (Minnesota), which stimulated her interest in applied and translational approaches for studying chemistry in human health. She then earned her doctorate in nutrition from The Ohio State University, using untargeted metabolomics to investigate dietary components related to gastrointestinal health. She serves on the informatics team at NCATS as a hybrid wet-lab and informatics investigator. Her research involves applying untargeted metabolomics strategies to understand small molecule mediators of infectious lung diseases and cell development.

Tara Eicher

Tara Eicher, M.S.

Graduate Partnership Program Trainee, Informatics Core

Tara received her B.A. in mathematics and her M.S. in computer science from Wichita State University, and she is pursuing a Ph.D. from The Ohio State University. Her prior projects in bioinformatics include modeling associations between the proteome and genome in breast and ovarian cancer and predicting regulatory elements in the epigenome using chromatin accessibility data. Currently, Tara is leveraging graph theory and machine learning approaches to understand the biological pathways involved in asthma and COVID-19.

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Ivan Grishagin, Ph.D.

Senior Bioinformatics Scientist, Informatics Core

Ivan leads the development of the Inxight: Drugs resource, a comprehensive portal for drug development information. He prepared the data; designed and implemented user interface elements, including the layout of the pages; and determined aspects of the user experience. Ivan designed and developed an R-based comprehensive pipeline for the integration of key public and manually curated pathway sources, as well as an elaborate visualization of 1,658 pathway maps for NCATS BioPlanet. He holds a Ph.D. in pharmaceutical sciences from the University of Southern California and a diploma in chemistry from Lomonosov Moscow State University (Russia). Ivan has led several data curation and development projects that structure literature knowledge for use by translational researchers and also works in early drug discovery research at NCATS.

Xin Hu

Xin Hu, Ph.D.

Informatics Lead, NIH HEAL Initiative, Early Translation Branch

Xin received a B.S. in pharmaceutical sciences from the Peking University School of Pharmacy (China) and a Ph.D. in pharmaceutical sciences at North Dakota State University. He was trained in bioinformatics and computational biology as a postdoctoral fellow at The Rockefeller University. Prior to joining NCATS in 2010, he served as a research scientist at the Biotechnology High Performance Computing Software Applications Institute at the Department of Defense, where he worked on the development of computational approaches for structure-based drug design. Xin’s current research at NCATS focuses on the Helping to End Addiction Long-termSM Initiative, or NIH HEAL InitiativeSM, where he works closely with biologists and chemists and leads the informatics efforts to develop new therapeutics and drugs for pain, addiction and overdose. Staff profile

Jason Inman

Jason Inman, M.S.

Bioinformatics Scientist, Informatics Core

Jason analyzes metabolomics, single-cell and bulk genetic data, and he contributes expertise in pipeline building and scripting as warranted by the needs of NCATS. Prior to joining NCATS, Jason worked at The Institute for Genomic Research, which later became the J. Craig Venter Institute, for 14 years and was involved in many aspects of genomic research, including genome assembly; annotation of eukaryotic, prokaryotic, and viral genomes; pan-genomic and metagenomic analysis; and general data support. Prior to that, Jason spent six years in the National Institute of Mental Health’s Laboratory of Genetics, in both wet-lab and informatics capacities. Jason received both his M.S. in biotechnology (2002) and his M.S. in bioinformatics (2011) from Johns Hopkins University. He received his B.S. in integrated science and technology from James Madison University in 1999.

Malley Claire

Claire Malley, M.S.

Special Volunteer, Stem Cell Translation Laboratory

Claire currently is a statistician at the National Eye Institute working in genetic epidemiology and continues to provide her bioinformatics expertise to NCATS as a Special Volunteer. She led bioinformatics analysis of next-generation sequencing data for biologists in the Stem Cell Translation Laboratory (SCTL), developed an RShiny app (SEQUIN) for storage and interaction with bulk and single-cell RNA-Seq data from the laboratory, and developed the iPSC Portal website for the group. She received a B.S. in ecology and evolutionary biology from the University of Michigan and an M.S. in plant biology with a focus on bioinformatics from Northwestern University. She currently is a part-time Ph.D. student in bioinformatics and computational biology at George Mason University and continues to collaborate with the SCTL and the Informatics Core on projects. Staff profile

Ewy Mathé

Ewy Mathé, Ph.D.

Director, Informatics Core

Ewy received her B.S. in biochemistry from Mount Saint Mary’s University in 2000 and a Ph.D. in bioinformatics from George Mason University in 2006. During her postdoctoral training with Curtis Harris, M.D., at the National Cancer Institute, she discovered putative esophageal and lung cancer biomarkers using miRNA microarrays and metabolomics. As a bioinformatics staff scientist in the laboratory of Rafael Casellas, Ph.D., at the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, she studied modalities of transcriptional regulation in B lymphocytes, using state-of-the-art next-generation sequencing techniques. She later took a faculty appointment in the Biomedical Informatics Department at The Ohio State University and built a research program developing algorithms for biomarker and therapeutic target discovery in cancer. She joined NCATS as director of informatics in 2020 and is leading a talented and diverse team of experts with the common vision of empowering translational research using state-of-the-art informatics technologies. Staff profile

Deborah Ngan

Deborah Ngan, B.S.

Informatics Scientist, Chemical Genomics Branch

Deborah is a bioinformatics scientist in the Toxicology in the 21st Century (Tox21) initiative within the Division of Preclinical Innovation at NCATS. She joined NCATS in 2014 and currently focuses on computational toxicology efforts, including the analysis of quantitative high-throughput screening data to predict in vivo toxicity. Deborah investigated the in vitro activity profiles and chemical structures of a library of approximately 10,000 compounds (Tox21 10K) to reveal the bioactivity signatures of drugs and environmental chemicals. She received a bachelor’s degree in physiology and neurobiology from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2014 and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in bioinformatics and computational biology at George Mason University.

Andrew Patt

Andrew Patt, Ph.D.

Bioinformatics Scientist, Informatics Core

Andrew received his B.Sc. in biochemistry/biomathematics from the State University of New York College at Geneseo in 2015 and his Ph.D. from The Ohio State University in 2021. From 2015 to 2016, he was a postbaccalaureate fellow working with Michael Ombrello, M.D., at the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases to identify ultra-rare genetic variants associated with systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis. In 2016, he began working with Ewy Mathé, Ph.D., at The Ohio State University while pursuing a Ph.D. in biomedical research. He transitioned to NCATS in 2020. His research interests include metabolomics and bioinformatics. His projects include the identification of metabolomic profiles associated with worse dedifferentiated liposarcoma and the development of the Relational Database of Metabolomics Pathways (RaMP) database.

Jaleal Sanjak

Jaleal Sanjak, Ph.D.

ODSS Technology Advancement (DATA) National Service Scholar

Jaleal received a B.S. in biotechnology from James Madison University and minored in mathematics, which led to an interest in computational biology. He earned his doctorate from the University of California, Irvine in the Mathematical, Computational and Systems Biology program, where he studied the population genetics of complex traits and diseases. Jaleal also worked as a lead data scientist at Gryphon Scientific, a small research and consulting firm focused on the life sciences and public health. Now at NCATS, he hopes to leverage his background in bioinformatics and data science to drive advancements in the study of rare diseases.

Kyle Spencer

Kyle Spencer, M.S.

Graduate Partnership Program Trainee, Informatics Core

Kyle received his B.S. in biomedical sciences in 2016 and an M.S. in biology in 2018 from Central Michigan University, and he is pursuing a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences focusing on computational biology and bioinformatics at The Ohio State University. Kyle’s current projects seek to understand how gut epithelial morphology is impacted by different environmental factors, such as diet or prebiotic intervention. Kyle’s goal is to merge classical bacteriology with the power of computational biology to improve digestive health.

Gregory Tawa

Gregory Tawa, Ph.D.

Staff Scientist, Therapeutic Development Branch

Gregory received his Ph.D. in chemical physics from New York University in 1990, where he studied the quantum mechanics of small molecules. He then performed postdoctoral work at the University of Minnesota, where his research focused on the dynamics of atom-molecule scattering. Since then, his work has gravitated toward life sciences and human health. Gregory spent 10 years in industry performing computational drug design and cheminformatics. He spent eight years at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, where he was a key member of multiple drug discovery projects, ranging from the very early exploratory stages to the actual development phase. At Wyeth, he gained intimate familiarity with the computational aspects of drug discovery. In 2014, Gregory joined NCATS, where he headed modeling and informatics for the Therapeutic Development Branch (TDB). In addition to supporting the TDB’s computational needs, Gregory also leads multiple projects that focus on bioinformatics-driven comparative canine-human oncology. Staff profile

Cole Tindall

Cole Tindall, B.S.

Postbaccalaureate Fellow, Functional Genomics Lab

Cole graduated from Salve Regina University with a B.S. in biology. During his undergraduate studies, he worked in a toxicology lab using genomics approaches to examine the effects of environmental toxins on voltage-sensitive channels. He also worked in a neurotoxicology lab with C. elegans and D. melanogaster to examine the developmental and motor effects of environmental toxins. Cole joined Ken Cheng, Ph.D., in the Functional Genomics Lab as a postbaccalaureate fellow and supported multiple high-throughput screening projects. Cole is currently working with the Informatics Core under Ewy Mathé, Ph.D., expanding his experience working with large amounts of data and computational tools. His main project with the Informatics Core is examining the translatability of CRC models to patient profiles using publicly available omics data. He also participates with the Relational Database of Metabolomics Pathways (RaMP) team to develop and test new releases of the database.

Kelli Wilson

Kelli Wilson, Ph.D.

Staff Scientist, Research Services Core

Kelli received a B.S. in biology in 2006 from North Carolina State University and a Ph.D. in cellular and molecular medicine from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in 2014. Kelli’s translational science Ph.D. training focused on discovering novel therapies for glioblastoma. This led her to join NCATS in 2014 as a postdoctoral fellow under Craig Thomas, Ph.D., where she focused on drug combination treatment for pediatric brain tumors and other cancer types. Currently, Kelli works in a data science–focused position in the Information Technology Resources Branch, where she supports NCATS projects across multiple disciplines with compound annotations and data aggregation.

Arjun Yadaw

Arjun Yadaw, Ph.D.

Senior Data Scientist, Informatics Core

Arjun received his Ph.D. in applied mathematics from the Indian Institute of Technology (Kanpur, India) in 2010. During his Ph.D. program, he developed numerical schemes to solve singularly perturbed boundary value problems (ODEs/PDEs). He transitioned into systems biology and started his postdoctoral fellowship under the supervision of Professor Ravi Iyengar at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in 2010. During this position, he developed a multi-compartment dynamical model of neurite outgrowth and spatio-temporal model neuron cell signaling. His research was focused on machine learning modeling, and he developed predictive models to predict (1) cardiac patients’ mortality and ICU length of stay based on their EMR data, and (2) the mortality of COVID-19 patients based on their EHR record data from Mount Sinai Data Warehouse. Arjun joined NCATS in 2021 as a senior data scientist and focuses on developing predictive models based on National COVID Cohort Collaborative (N3C) data, integration of omics data into predictive models and data cleaning for Pharos.

Wenyu Zeng

Wenyu Zeng, M.S.

Postbaccalaureate Fellow, Informatics Core

Wenyu received a B.S. in statistics from the University of Pittsburgh and an M.S. in data science from The George Washington University. Her interest focuses on the interaction between machine learning/deep learning and biomedical research. She is currently working on projects that build predictive models for bioassay metadata and COVID-19 data.

Cheminformaticians

Ruili Huang

Ruili Huang, Ph.D.

Informatics Team Lead, Chemical Genomics Branch

Ruili received her Ph.D. in chemistry from Iowa State University, working on chemical kinetics and mechanisms for reactions catalyzed by organometallic compounds. She joined NCATS in 2006 after working at the National Cancer Institute, where she was a computational biologist working on deconvoluting biochemical pathways and drug-gene-pathway relationships. Ruili is the informatics team leader on the toxicity profiling team at NCATS and the co-chair of the chemical library working group of the Toxicology in the 21st Century (Tox21) initiative. Staff profile

Sankalp Jain

Sankalp Jain, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow, Therapeutic Development Branch

Sankalp completed his B.Tech. in bioinformatics from the Jaypee University of Information Technology (India) in 2010, followed by a master’s degree in life science informatics at the University of Bonn (Germany) in 2013. Pursuing his interest in the field of computational drug design, he received a doctorate in pharmacoinformatics from the University of Vienna (Austria) in 2018. Sankalp’s current research focuses on the application and development of in silico classification and prediction models to predict bioactivity for small molecules and virtual screening approaches to accelerate the drug development process. As a member of the Adenine Team and a computational chemist, he specializes in applying cheminformatics, machine learning and molecular modeling to translational science projects. Staff profile

Abhijeet Kapoor

Abhijeet Kapoor, Ph.D.

Informatics Scientist, Early Translation Branch

Abhijeet received a B.Tech. in bioinformatics from the Jaypee University of Information Technology (India) in 2008, and a Ph.D. in bioinformatics and computational biology at Iowa State University in 2014. His postdoctoral work in the laboratory of Marta Filizola, Ph.D., at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai focused on using enhanced sampling molecular dynamics methods to elucidate the thermodynamic and kinetic elements of ligand-induced dynamics of the μ-opioid receptor, a target of opioid painkillers. He also worked on early discovery projects involving different classes of proteins (ion channels, transcription factors, etc.), during which he conducted hit identification and lead optimization protocols. Abhijeet joined NCATS in 2020 as an informatics scientist. Currently, he is involved in early discovery projects using structure-based approaches to identify small-molecule probes that disrupt or promote protein-protein interactions to restore cellular and tissue homeostasis.

Min Shen

Min Shen, Ph.D.

Informatics Group Lead, Early Translation Branch

Min received her Ph.D. in computational chemistry at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and her B.S. in pharmaceutical sciences from the Peking University School of Pharmacy (China). She has diverse expertise in database mining, high-throughput virtual screening, lead identification and optimization using both small molecule–based and protein structure–based computational approaches. Staff profile

Vishal Siramshetty

Vishal Siramshetty, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow, Informatics Core

Vishal received a B.S. in pharmacy from Osmania University (India) in 2010 and an M.Sc. in life science informatics from the University of Bonn (Germany) in 2014. In 2018, he received a doctoral degree in cheminformatics from Freie Universität Berlin (Germany). Vishal’s current research focuses on the development of computational prediction models for pharmacological endpoints, formulation of informatics approaches for illumination of understudied protein targets of the human genome, and dissemination of cheminformatics tools through such data analytics platforms as KNIME. He actively collaborates with the absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion (ADME) group on the development of predictive models and exploration of the structure–metabolism data. Staff profile

Sun Hongmao

Hongmao Sun, Ph.D.

Informatician, Early Translation Branch

Hongmao received his Ph.D. in computational and medicinal chemistry at Clark University and the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He also received a Ph.D. in physics and a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Science and Technology of China. He received postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Garland Marshall, Ph.D., at the Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine. He has 10 years of industry experience in rational drug design with Hoffmann-La Roche. Before joining NCATS in 2011, he worked for the Department of Defense’s Biotechnology High Performance Computing Software Applications Institute for one year. Hongmao published a monograph, A Practical Guide to Rational Drug Design, with Elsevier in 2015. Staff profile

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Yuhong Wang, M.S.

Informatics Scientist/Engineer, Research Services Core

Yuhong holds a master’s degree in bioorganic chemistry from Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry (China), which he received in 1987. He develops algorithms and software for high-throughput data analysis and drug design. His current research focuses on new computational algorithms for structural modeling and drug design, using both traditional and machine learning algorithms. Staff profile

Gergely Zahoránszky Kőhalmi

Gergely Zahoránszky-Kőhalmi, Ph.D.

Informatics Lead ASPIRE, Research Services Core

Gergely’s research in the A Specialized Platform for Innovative Research Exploration (ASPIRE) program at NCATS focuses on chemistry automation and the design and synthesis of novel bioactive molecules. He developed reaction informatics methods using artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies involving network theory, machine learning and deep learning. He also is responsible for coordinating informatics research and development projects in ASPIRE. Before joining NCATS, he was a development engineer at Sanofi and a synthesis leader chemist at AMRI, Inc. He received his Ph.D. in the field of biomedical sciences at The University of New Mexico School of Medicine, where he was also a visiting Fulbright Scholar in 2010–2011. Staff profile

Alexey Zakharov

Alexey Zakharov, Ph.D., M.D.

Informatics Group Leader, Early Translation Branch

Alexey graduated with a master’s degree in biochemistry from the Russian State Medical University (Moscow) in 2005. He received his doctorate in bioinformatics from the Institute of Biomedical Chemistry of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences in 2008. Alexey’s group’s research is based on the strong overlap between different scientific fields, including bioinformatics, cheminformatics, biochemistry, computational chemistry and toxicology, statistics, and artificial intelligence and machine learning. Staff profile 

Qian Zhu

Qian Zhu, Ph.D.

Informatics Scientist, Informatics Core

Qian joined NCATS’ informatics group in 2018 and currently works on the Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center supporting the development of GARD 2.0. She also manages activities conducted by multiple clinical data groups and coordinates their efforts through the Biomedical Data Translator consortium and designs and develops artificial intelligence (AI)–based retrosynthesis applications to support automated synthesis for A Specialized Platform for Innovative Research Exploration (ASPIRE) projects. Prior to joining NCATS, Qian was a faculty member in the Department of Informatics Systems at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and a senior research scientist II in the Division of Public Health at Social & Scientific Systems, Inc., where she directed AI and natural language processing–based automated placenta data curation for the Placenta Atlas Tool, which was funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child and Human Development. She earned her Ph.D. in cheminformatics from the Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences (China). She was a research associate at Indiana University, working with scientists from Eli Lilly and Company to develop computational programs for drug discovery. Working under the supervision of Christopher G. Chute, M.D., Dr.P.H., FACMI, she was trained as a professional biomedical informatician at the Mayo Clinic, working with a large volume of patient data.

Developers

Niko Anderson

Niko Anderson, B.S.

Front-end Developer, Informatics Core

Nikolaus (Niko) received his B.S. in biology and plant science from the University of Maryland, College Park and is the lead front-end developer for the Global Substance Registration System (GSRS). He leads the development of the updated user interface (UI) for GSRS, working closely with the back-end and testing teams to ensure that the new Angular UI will support the transition to the new back-end for the upcoming GSRS v3.0 release. Niko also supports the publishing of the public data set from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. He provides support to collaborators to modify the GSRS UI and manage the migration path for incorporation of these modifications into the core GSRS. Niko has a background in full stack web development, plant taxonomy and quantitative vegetation analysis from working for the University’s herbarium and plant ecology lab, as well as on various plant-based websites and databases before joining NCATS.

Marco Garcia Aviles

Marco Garcia Aviles, B.S.

Developer, Informatics Core

Marco received a B.S. in computer engineering in 2012 from the Metropolitan Autonomous University (Mexico City). He currently works as a front-end developer for CURE ID. His favorite technologies to work with are Angular, Ionic and Javascript.

Hyun Cho

Hyun Cho, B.S.

UI/UX Designer, Informatics Core

Hyun is a user experience and user interface designer who works with NCATS in the Division of Preclinical Innovation’s informatics group on the CURE ID project with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Critical Path Institute. He currently focuses on usability and interaction design to provide an engaging experience for CURE ID users. Hyun holds a B.S. in digital media from the University Maryland University College (now known as the University Maryland Global Campus).

Zarina Dizmang

Zarina Dizmang, M.A

UI/UX Designer, Informatics Core

Zarina works with NCATS in the Division of Preclinical Innovation’s informatics group on CURE ID,, a collaborative project with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. She holds an M.A. from Taraz State University (Kazakhstan) of Technology and has been working in web development for the past three years. Zarina became increasingly interested in harnessing design and technology to create beautiful user experiences. This interest launched her career in user experience design where she loves to share her passion for design, technology and empathy with users. She truly believes that her CURE ID team can make a difference for clinicians around the world.

Ruby Geng

Ruby Geng, M.S.

Software Engineer, Informatics Core

Ruby works with NCATS in the Division of Preclinical Innovation’s informatics group on the collaborative CURE ID project with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Ruby holds an M.S. in computer science from the Xian Institute of Technology University.

Serghei Gorobet

Serghei Gorobet, M.S.

Full Stack Developer, Informatics Core

Serghei is a full stack developer who works with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to develop CURE ID. Serghei believes that CURE ID is a very useful tool, especially today, and that it can offer significant help to the public in discovering new uses for drugs.

Lihui Hu

Lihui Hu, Ph.D.

Senior Software Developer, Informatics Core

Lihui received a B.A. degree in computer science from Tongji University and a Ph.D. in computer science from Michigan Technological University. She currently works on the back-end team for the Global Substance Registration System (GSRS) team. Before joining NCATS, Lihui primarily worked on back-end web development at NIH’s National Library of Medicine.

Keith Kelleher

Keith Kelleher, Ph.D.

Senior Full Stack Developer, Informatics Core

Keith received a B.S. in psychology from Florida State University and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Houston. More recently, he worked as a software developer at Epic in Verona, Wisconsin. Currently, he works on the full development stack for Pharos

Xiaoyu (Shawn) Li

Xiaoyu (Shawn) Li, B.S.

Full stack Developer, Informatics Core

Shawn works in NCATS’ Division of Preclinical Innovation’s informatics group on the COVID-19 OpenData portal. Shawn holds a bachelor's degree in computer science from the University of California, Irvine.

Mitch Miller

Mitch Miller, Ph.D.

Developer, Informatics Core

Mitch received a B.A. in comparative literature from Queens College and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the City University of New York during the latter part of the last century. Currently, he is working on the Global Substance Registration System (GSRS), where he is assisting with server development and testing; creating an Excel add-in for GSRS; providing customer support; and Resolver, including creating an Excel add-in for Resolver. He is knowledgeable of Java and C# programming languages.

Dominic Nieves

Dominic Nieves, B.S.

Full Stack Developer, Informatics Core

Dominic works with NCATS in the Division of Preclinical Innovation’s informatics group on the collaborative CURE ID project with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. He holds a B.S. in biology from Drexel University and a B.S. in computer science from Oregon State University.

Sheils Timothy

Timothy Sheils, B.S.

Senior Web Applications Developer, Informatics Core

Timothy Sheils is a research scientist in the informatics group within NCATS’ Division of Preclinical Innovation. He currently is involved in creating websites for various NCATS projects, as well as assisting with updating current sites. Tim received a B.A. in philosophy from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in 2005 and a B.S. in computer science from the University of Maryland University College (now known as the University Maryland Global Campus) in 2013. He currently works on front-end interfaces for Pharos, CURE ID and Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center. His favorite technologies to work with are Angular, Neo4j and D3 visualizations. Staff profile

Alex Welsch

Alex Welsch, Ph.D.

Data Curator/Programmer, Informatics Core

Alex works on programming and data management for the Global Substance Registration System (GSRS). He mostly focuses on developing tools that help identify and record relationships between clinical trial interventions and substances registered in the GSRS database. He worked in a similar capacity as a contractor affiliated with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and National Library of Medicine before starting with NCATS in September 2021. Alex has worked in data applications across disciplines. He has a Ph.D. in urban studies from Portland State University.

Mark Willams

Mark Williams, B.S.

Software Engineer, Informatics Core

Mark received a B.S. in computer science from the University of South Carolina. He currently works on the Biomedical Data Translator as a software engineer and technical liaison. His focus is on integrating previously disparate biomedical data to allow meaningful cross-domain querying. He provides technical leadership to the program, leading the Deployment Working Group, participating in the program’s committees and working groups, and developing the standards (Translator Reasoner API communication and BioLink Model) used within Translator. Additionally, he is currently developing the Autonomous Relay System through which queries are sent and answers are received via the Translator components, enabling researchers to generate new hypotheses.

Lin Ye

Lin Ye, Ph.D.

Informatics Scientist, Chemical Genomics Branch

Lin joined NCATS in 2018 as a postdoctoral researcher. She analyzes quantitative high-throughput screening data and builds predictive models for in vivo toxicity endpoints for Toxicology in the 21st Century (Tox21) working groups. Before joining NCATS, Lin worked in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, where she participated in the development of the Chemical Evaluation and Risk Estimation System. Prior to her fellowship at FDA, Lin was a postdoctoral researcher in the School of Pharmacy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she worked on developing QSAR model for toxicity endpoints. Lin received her Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Missouri–Kansas City, where her work focused on modeling of polymer-based dental restorative materials.

Tongan Zhao

Tongan Zhao, M.S.

Senior Web Application Developer, Informatics Core

Tongan received his B.S. in chemical engineering from the Zhengzhou University (China) and an M.S. in computer science at the University of Missouri–Kansas City. He currently works on full stack development of the Toxicology in the 21st Century (Tox21) Gateway and COVID-19 OpenData Portal. His work focuses on full stack web application development, data management and application programming interface development.

Project and Program Managers

Elizabeth Callahan

Elizabeth Callahan, M.S.

Project Manager, Informatics Core

Elizabeth received her M.S. in business management from the University of Maryland University College (now known as the University Maryland Global Campus) and is the project manager for the Global Substance Registration System (GSRS) and NCATS Substance Registration System (N-SRS) programs for the Division of Preclinical Innovation’s informatics group. She works closely with software front-end and back-end developers and registrars to align work and apply a consistent project management approach. For GSRS, she provides support for NCATS’ critical collaboration with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other collaborators, guiding the development team toward clear deliverables and production software releases at the agency. Elizabeth has experience working in various project management offices for hospitals, airlines, vascular technologists and sports marketing fields.

Sarah Stemann

Sarah Stemann, B.S.

Project Manager, Informatics Core

Sarah is the project manager for the Biomedical Data Translator program and supports the Informatics Core project managers’ and developers’ interest groups. She works closely with software developers, lead investigators, program managers and web design teams to align work streams and apply a consistent project management approach by developing schedules, planning milestones, and creating and tracking issues using GitHub and JIRA. Sarah received a B.S. in business information technology from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) in 2003.

Regulatory Science Researchers and Fellows

Dammika Nandanie Amugoda

Dammika Nandanie Amugoda, M.S.

Curator/Research Scientist, Informatics Core

Dammika joined NCATS in April 2014. She works on the Global Ingredient Archival System, an informatics platform that NCATS scientists developed in collaboration with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Dammika ensures accuracy in the storage of FDA substance information on chemicals and biologics, including protein, gene and cell therapies. She has been working with the FDA substance registration team since 2010. The primary objective of this project is to migrate data and curate FDA-regulated substances. Before this assignment, Dammika worked on several projects as an FDA research fellow, performing gene mining and microarray studies. Staff profile

Marian Nkeng

Marian Nkeng, Pharm.D.

GSRS Registrar, Informatics Core

Marian received a B.S. in biochemistry in 2012 from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), while completing pre-pharmacy coursework in preparation for pharmacy school. After graduation, she became a pharmacy technician and later attended the University of Maryland, School of Pharmacy (UMSOP), graduating as a pharmacist in 2018. Afterward, she began working with the Global Substance Registration System (GSRS) team at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), registering investigational new drug (IND) applications. She then became an Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) fellow in the Office of Pharmaceutical Quality at the FDA and facilitated the correct entry of drug formulations for the generation of the Inactive Ingredient Report published quarterly for industry. She joined NCATS in 2021 and currently works with the GSRS team as a registrar for the registration of Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research and Center for Drug Evaluation and Research INDs, New Drug Applications, Abbreviated New Drug Applications, Drug Master Files and impurities.