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 recently featured in a New Faculty Spotlight article in the Biology Department Newsletter. Before joining Loyola in 2015, she was a Postdoctoral Fellow at The University of Chicago. While there, she appeared in a LabTV video describing her research. Heather holds a Ph.D. in Genetics from Stanford University and a B.A. 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, The Cell, and Lincoln Hall.


Dr. Lauren Mogil, Postdoc

Lauren is a postdoctoral researcher in the Wheeler lab. Her research interests include analyzing big data sets to further understand what affects disease states. She received her Ph.D. from Mayo Graduate School in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. She also hold a B.S. in Bioinformatics and Biology from Loyola University Chicago. When she’s not in the lab, Lauren enjoys exploring Chicago, going to the theater, dancing, yoga, and traveling.


Jon Brenner, Graduate Student

Jon is a graduate student within the Department of Computer Science at Loyola University Chicago from where he also received a B.S. in Bioinformatics. Jon joined the Wheeler lab in the fall of 2015 with additional past and on ongoing research endeavors focused on the computational aspects of metagenomics and the search for cross-species horizontal gene transfer. In his free time he enjoys attending live music, PC gaming, and any sport involving a board strapped to one's feet.


Angela Andaleon, Undergraduate Student

Angela is a sophomore Molecular Biology major with a minor in Biostatistics, with current plans to move into industrial biological research, possibly pursuing graduate school. She joined the Wheeler lab fall of 2016 after attending the computer science section of the First Year Research Experience that summer. Outside of lab, she enjoys seeing musicals, including winning the Book of Mormon lottery this summer, and attending concerts, once driving four hours to Warped Tour to crowd surf at Neck Deep.


Alexa Badalamenti, Undergraduate Student

Alexa is a senior majoring in Bioinformatics with plans to pursue a graduate degree in Genetic Counseling. Having a deep personal love for the arts, she grew up in the theater, and has even performed at Loyola. Viewing science as an additional creative outlet, her two very different passions have aligned. She hopes to remain at the forefront of genetic medicine, and eventually work with families. When not geeking-out about science, or singing loudly and probably annoying her neighbors, she enjoys exploring the city with her sister. ePortfolio


Danny Baghdan, Undergraduate Student

Danny Baghdan is an undergraduate at Loyola University Chicago who majors in Bioinformatics. His interests include all forms of medical research and he plans to attend an MD/ PhD program. His hobbies include listening to music, playing games, and spending time with his friends.



Emma Highland, Undergraduate Student

Emma Highland is a senior undergraduate Computer Science major. She aims to attend a Computational Biology Ph.D. program. Emma is highly interested in the genetics of psychiatric illnesses, specifically the interplay between genetics and response to pharmaceutical treatments for psychiatric illnesses. She plans to pursue a career path that will allow her to help psychiatric patients receive more effective treatments. Aside from her research interests and academic pursuits, Emma enjoys watching horror movies, discovering new music, and hanging out with her friends. Emma is also passionate about getting more women into Computer Science and other STEM fields.


Natalie Jachym, Undergraduate Student

Natalie is a senior undergraduate Molecular Biology major and plans to attend graduate school to pursue a degree in either Forensic Science or Genetics. Her ultimate goal is to remain at the forefront of new scientific advancements and to have a career that allows her to share her knowledge of biology and chemistry with others. Outside of the lab, Natalie watches entirely too much TV, but tries to make up for this by taking frequent trips downtown with friends to explore new and exciting areas of the city.


Lab Alumni