People

Dr. Heather E. Wheeler, Principal Investigator

Heather is an Assistant Professor at Loyola University Chicago with joint appointments in the Departments of Biology, Computer Science, and Public Health Sciences. She teaches courses within the Bioinformatics major. She was awarded the 2018 Sujack Family Award for Faculty Research Excellence. Before joining Loyola in 2015, she was a Postdoctoral Fellow at The University of Chicago. Heather holds a PhD in Genetics from Stanford University and a BA in Biology from Hamline University. When not working on modeling complex trait genetics or course design, Heather enjoys exploring Chicago with her family. Favorite spots include The Field Museum, Momotaro, Coliseum Park, Comiskey or whatever it's called (especially when the Twins are in town), and Lincoln Hall.


Ryan Schubert, Research Assistant

Ryan is a recent graduate of the Loyola class of 2018, with a BS in Biology and Bioinformatics. Ryan fell in love with coding his junior and senior year writing scripts and assembling pipelines under Dr. Wheeler’s guidance. Going forward Ryan plans to earn a graduate degree and has aspirations to work in the biotech industry. Outside of research, Ryan enjoys reading, painting, board games, and his friends.


Angela Andaleon, Graduate Student

Angela is a thesis-track master's student in the accelerated BS Biology/MS Bioinformatics program with her project on "The Genetic Architecture of Lipid Traits in Diverse Populations." Her interests include genetic diversity within and between human populations. She is a 2017-2019 Carbon Fellow and won Loyola's Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award in 2018, and she has current plans to move into industrial biological research after completion of her degrees. She joined the Wheeler Lab fall of 2016 after attending the bioinformatics/computer science section of the First Year Research Experience that summer. Outside of lab, she enjoys seeing musicals, including winning the Hamilton lottery, and attending concerts, once driving four hours to Warped Tour to crowd surf at Neck Deep.


Paul Okoro, Graduate Student

Paul is a thesis-track master's student in the MS Bioinformatics program. He studied Cell Biology and Genetics as an undergraduate at the University of Lagos where he developed a strong passion for human, population and statistical genetics. His interest lies in genome sequence data analysis. After the MS, he plans to continue on to a PhD in Computational Biology, and in the long term, he would love to take up a research position in a biotech company or startup. In his free time, he likes to either watch European football (soccer) games, hangout with friends, cook, see a movie, listen to music, and/or sleep.


Mohammed Abdul Sami, Undergraduate Student

Mohammed is a senior Biology major with a Cellular/Molecular Neuroscience minor in the Interdisciplinary Honors Program. He is a Mulcahy Scholar. He is interested in a variety of disease processes in medicine and genetics, and eventually plans on pursuing a medical degree after his undergraduate studies. When not in the lab, Mohammed enjoys swimming, tennis, trying, *emphasis on trying*, to teach himself new things, and writing!


Peter Fiorica, Undergraduate Student

Peter is a junior Biochemistry and Biology major in the Interdisciplinary Honors Program. He is also a Carbon Fellow and Mulcahy Scholar. After college, he plans to continue his academic career in graduate school. His love of genetics and molecular biology stems from dinner table conversations with his parents about medicine and the background behind diseases. As he has grown older, he has developed a passion for human genetics because of the seemingly endless mysteries that the human genome holds. In his free time, he can be found cheering for his local Buffalo sports teams, eating chicken wings, or drinking from his Linus Pauling coffee mug.


Elyse Geoffroy, Undergraduate Student

Elyse is a sophomore Bioinformatics student planning on completing the BS/MS program. She is also the Bioinformatics Student Board sophomore representative. After college, Elyse hopes to either continue her education in genetics and pursuing a career in research or work for a pharmaceutical company. In her free time, Elyse spends time baking, exploring Chicago, playing soccer, and hanging out with her friends and siblings.


Jack Morris, Undergraduate Student

Jack is a senior Bioinformatics major from St. Louis, Missouri. He hopes to pursue a career in biological industry, or to move onto graduate school for a degree in Genetic Counseling. Jack's passion for genetics started at a young age, and as the field grows more rapidly, he becomes more fascinated by it. He is a Provost Fellow and Mulcahy Scholar. In his free time, he enjoys a wide range of sports, finding new Chicago restaurants to try out, and taking time to immerse himself in a good book.


Ashley Mulford, Undergraduate Student

Ashley is a sophomore Bioinformatics major in the Interdisciplinary Honors Program. She is planning on applying for the BS/MS Bioinformatics accelerated degree program during her junior year. She is interested in working in industry after graduation, most likely for a biotech company. Outside of working in the lab, Ashley enjoys spending time with friends and family, listening to alternative music, and exploring Chicago.


Jennifer Takamura, Undergraduate Student

Jennifer Takamura is a senior who is majoring in biology with a minor in psychology with plans to pursue graduate school. She is a Biology Summer Research Fellow and Mulcahy Scholar. She is fluent in Vietnamese and French, but ironically, does not know any Japanese. When she is not studying for classes or doing reseach she enjoys baking, knitting, and playing piano. She also loves exploring Chicago whenever she can.


Rachel Weiss, Undergraduate Student

Rachel is a sophomore majoring in Biology with a molecular emphasis and a minor in Bioethics. After college, she plans on attending graduate school and continuing with research. Rachel has been interested in genetics since completing a project that showed the how differences in genotypes will impact the effects of a given medication. In her free time, Rachel can be found curled up with a book or exploring downtown Chicago.


Lab Alumni