Welcome, 2019 PhD Students!

We are proud to introduce the 2019 class of Biomedical Informatics PhD students. They arrive on August 23 from places both near and far—Cincinnati, Kentucky, China, and Finland. They have backgrounds in biology, digital health, and computer science. They also bring unique perspectives and passions to our program.

Please join us in welcoming our 2019 PhD students. We are excited for the fall semester—and their important, impactful research—to begin!


John Huber

MS Computer Science, University of Cincinnati
BS Computer Science, University of Dayton

Research interests: Clinical informatics

“As an employee of Cincinnati Children’s for the past five years, I have seen first-hand the impact that informatics can have on the outcomes of our patients and families. I’ve been fortunate to have worked with several world-class researchers here at Children’s who have been truly inspiring.

I’ve been incredibly impressed by the talent and passion of the informaticists here at Children’s, and the opportunities and support are amazing. After receiving my master’s degree in computer science at UC, and now as an employee at Children’s, the Biomedical Informatics PhD program was a natural fit. 

I’m interested in researching the application of informatics to enable and support co-production in healthcare. This includes care coordination, collaboration, and shared decision-making activities between the patient and their care team.”


Guangyuan (Frank) Li

BS Biology, Wuhan University

Research interests: Applying genomics and proteomics approaches to cancer and rare human disease

“My interest in biomedical informatics began when I served as an intern at a pharmacogenomics company. There, I participated in cancer research, including novel cancer immunotherapy for individualized medicine. During this time, I came to believe that the correct way to tackle complex human diseases is from a systemic and holistic perspective—including massive biomedical data and informatics analysis methods. Since then, I’ve become keen on biomedical informatics and determined to pursue my PhD in this field.

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital is famous around the world, and I really like the partnership between UC and Children’s. We as PhD students can benefit a lot by bringing our basic research to real world issues. Through offering diverse courses and the opportunity to work with many professors, this program will help me refine my research interests.

Currently, I am quite interested in studying the mechanisms underlying the human immune system by adopting systemic approaches and bioinformatics analyses. However, I am also very open to exploring other biomedical issues and studying them in a holistic way.”


Ethan Poweleit

BS Biological Sciences, Northern Kentucky University

Research interests: Analysis of genetic determinants of pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic profiles of antidepressants

“I became interested in biomedical informatics during the two years that I conducted research in the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Program at Cincinnati Children’s, and continued throughout my Junior and Senior years at Northern Kentucky University. The research I conducted combined pharmacology and bioinformatics, so I was initially directed towards pursuing a graduate degree in Pharmacology. However, I realized that the computational skills, techniques, and knowledge that I could gain in biomedical informatics would overall better suit me and my research interests.

The primary reasons I chose the University of Cincinnati/Cincinnati Children’s to pursue my PhD were the novel research opportunities available that coincided with my research interests. Additionally, the collaboration between the University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Children’s was a highly attractive feature to me.

My research interests include pharmacogenomics, precision medicine, pharmacology (specifically pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic modeling and simulation), and psychiatry.”


Amanda Tursi

MS Digital Health and Life Sciences – Bioinformatics Track, University of Turku
BS Bioinformatics, Rowan University

Research interests: Analysis of whole genome sequence data and functional consequences of SNPs and other variants

“I entered college as a biology major, but quickly found that I enjoyed both introductory biology and computer science classes. I realized that I was more interested in combining these two interests rather than doing only wet lab work, so I began pursuing bioinformatics research projects and really enjoyed them.

I was attracted to this program because of the depth of biomedical informatics research. After meeting with faculty, I strongly felt that this program was a good fit for my interests and aspirations.

Much of my previous research has focused on next-generation sequencing, which is an area I have really enjoyed pursuing. Since biomedical informatics​ encompasses such a wide array of research specialities, I am eager to explore other avenues as well.”


To learn more about our graduate programs in Biomedical Informatics, email us, visit our website, or download our brochure

Welcome, 2019 PhD Students!