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Bioinformatics: Faculty & Staff

John Kauwe, Ph.D.

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Dr. John "Keoni" Kauwe received his Ph.D. in Evolultion, Ecology, and Population Biology from Washington University in 2007. His BS and MS degrees in Molecular Biology and Population Genetics, respectively, are from Brigham Young University. He is interested in the genetic architecture of complex traits. His current research is focused on using cerebrospinal fluid protein levels as intermediate traits, or endophenotypes, to identify genetic risk factors for Alzheimer's disease.

Samuel Payne, Ph.D.

Dr. Payne is an Associate Professor of Bioinformatics in the Department of Biology, teaching courses on Bioinformatics and Bioethics. His research interests are focused on algorithms for proteomics data analysis, multi-omics integration, biological data visualization and data science. He is currently PI of a National Cancer Institute proteogenomics data analysis center. Prior grants include a DOE Early Career Investigator award for algorithmic research in metaproteomics, an NSF Microbial Genome Sequencing award and industrial sponsorship from Agilent Technologies for signal processing research.

Prior to joining BYU, Dr. Payne was a Senior Scientist with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (2010-2018) and Principle Investigator at the J. Craig Venter Institute (2008-2010). He received a B.S. of Computer Science at Brigham Young University (2002) and a Ph.D. in Bioinformatics from UC, San Diego (2008).

Stephen R. Piccolo, Ph.D.

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Dr. Stephen R. Piccolo is an assistant professor in the Department of Biology at Brigham Young University (BYU). He earned a B.S. degree in Management Information Systems from BYU in 2001 and then worked as a programmer/analyst for five years at Intel Corporation in Chandler, Arizona (where he met his wife, Laurel Harmon). In 2011, he received a PhD in Biomedical Informatics from the University of Utah (advised by Dr. Lewis J. Frey). From 2011-2014, he was postdoctoral researcher jointly at the University of Utah (Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, advised by Dr. Andrea H. Bild) and Boston University School of Medicine (Division of Computational Biomedicine, advised by Dr. W. Evan Johnson). Stephen is thrilled to be part of the BYU community. He teaches classes in biology, bioinformatics, and data analysis.

Dr. Piccolo is currently recruiting students to do research in his lab. Students interested in discussing research plans should first read the Policies page on Dr. Piccolo's lab page at

Perry G. Ridge, Ph.D.

Dr. Perry Ridge received his Ph.D. in Biology from Brigham Young University in 2013. He earned dual B.S. degrees in Bioinformatics and Computer Science from Brigham Young University in 2005, and a M.S. degree in biochemistry from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2008. Dr. Ridge also spent several years in industry working as a computational scientist at Innovative Emergency Management and as a bioinformatics analyst at ARUP Laboratories and the University of Utah. Dr. Ridge has performed research in genetics, molecular evolution, functional genomics, and algorithms. Dr. Ridge is interested in understanding the structure and function of genomes, with a focus on understanding the relationship between genome variation and function. A major focus of his lab is the development of new algorithms to study genomes. Dr. Ridge is also interested in the application of computational tools to biological datasets and has projects and collaborations in Alzheimer’s disease and mitochondrial genetics, plant genetics, and ecology/evolution.