About Bioinformatics Research Team Members
Yung-Tsi Bolon, PhD - Director, Bioinformatics Research
Yung-Tsi directs a talented science & technology SWAT team and a research & translation program that improves cellular therapy access and outcomes for all patients in need. With a versatile background across industries and applications, she sees and develops potential in people, projects, and products, and finds and follows through on paths for success. She wakes up each day looking for ways to improve and expand the impact on the patients we serve.
Pradeep Bashyal - Bioinformatics Software Architect
Pradeep loves creating tools and services to showcase the awesome work of the Bioinformatics Team members. He started at Be The Match in 2011 working on the Haplogic matching platform and is currently working on the next generation imputation and matching algorithm. His role in the team allows him to leverage his deep interest in software development to further the organization's mission and save lives.
Abu Chowdhury, PhD – Bioinformatics Scientist
Abu Chowdhury works in the field of Bioinformatics, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning. His current research focuses on identifying and proposing opportunities for research and services that impact overall and event-free survivals for all patients, modeling and analysis of registry coverage for the populations that may need cellular therapy, and designing methods for imputation of HLA alleles and haplotypes. He was awarded a PhD in Computer Science from Washington State University. Prior to joining Be The Match in 2020, Dr. Chowdhury conducted postdoctoral research at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
Stephanie Fingerson, MS - Senior Bioinformatics Scientist
Stephanie is working to improve the event-free survival of our patients by helping to make the research of the Bioinformatics group and others more accessible during the matching process. She creates pilot and prototype applications that allow for quick access to up-and-coming measures or that can help start conversations for future development. She also serves as a resource for our BioTherapies, BioBank, and other groups to provide modeling and data requests.
Stephanie started working with Be The Match as an intern in 2012 while she was finishing up her Master of Science in Biomedical Informatics and Computational Biology from the University of Minnesota and has been here ever since!
Alyssa Carlson - Project Coordinator
Alyssa began her career at Be the Match February of 2014. She is extremely passionate about helping others and saving lives. Her passions outside of Be the Match are bully and suicide prevention advocacy.
Abeer Madbouly, PhD - Principal Bioinformatics Scientist
Abeer Madbouly has over 15 years of experience in bioinformatics. Her role involves improving the donor/patient tissue matching process by developing better validation methods, more innovative matching, better collection of donor and recipient race/ethnicity/ancestry information and diversified population genetics analyses. She investigates multiple gene systems with the goal of improving post-transplant event-free survival.
Dr. Madbouly joined the BTM Bioinformatics team in 2010. She earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL. She currently serves as adjunct assistant professor at the University of Minnesota, Bioinformatics and Computational Biology program and the Chair of the Science and Technology Initiatives Committee at the American Society of Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics.
Christian Normand - Bioinformatics Data Engineer
Christian is an engineer who specializes in helping mission-driven companies harness the power of data to drive action and change lives. Prior to joining NMDP in 2023, he worked as a data practitioner in various fields including healthcare, digital marketing, and wastewater treatment. He supports the Bioinformatics Research Team by leading initiatives to enable effective use of data throughout the organization. Outside of work, he enjoys hiking, cooking, and playing the drums.
Ray Sajulga, Jr. - Bioinformatics Scientist
Ray Sajulga, Jr. enjoys combining his interests in biochemistry and software development as a bioinformatics scientist. He specializes in translating research into application by developing algorithms and interfaces used by transplant specialists to optimize donor selection and improve patient transplant outcomes. Ray graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry and Biochemistry & Molecular Biology from Gustavus Adolphus College in 2017 and started working at Be The Match in 2019.
Tao Zhang, PhD - Senior Bioinformatics Scientist
Tao Zhang specializes in high-throughput genomic/proteomic analyses and clinical associations with computational pipeline and algorithm development. Currently, his work aims to improve event-free survival by investigating the molecular mechanism of post-transplantation outcome in major hematological malignancies. He is conducting genetic and statistical analysis to identify molecular biomarkers and build predictive models for clinical outcome prognosis.
Dr. Zhang earned his PhD degree in Genetics from the College of Life Science in Wuhan University in 2006. Prior to joining Be The Match in 2019, his broad biomedical research experience included work at the University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Children’s Hospital New Orleans, and most recently the Baylor College of Medicine Human Genome Sequencing Center.
Deniz Akdemir, PhD - Clinical Data Scientist
Deniz Akdemir was awarded a PhD in Statistics from Bowling Green State University in 2009. Since then, he has taken teaching, research and consulting positions at several universities and organizations. During his postdoctoral studies at Cornell University, he specialized in statistical genomics, application of statistical learning to genome-wide prediction of quantitative traits and breeding methodologies such as genomic selection, genomic mating and methods for improvement of multiple traits. He uses his expertise and knowledge in statistics and statistical genomics at Be The Match helping others and saving lives.
Tushar Deshpande, MS - Bioinformatics Engineer
Tushar received his M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Central Florida researching formal methods in software engineering. For over seven years he has been developing web applications for multiple companies in a number of industries including biomedical research, pharmaceuticals, and education management.
He is excited to be bringing his research and industry experience to Be The Match and contributes to the development of robust, innovative software designs to help us solve some of the most complex problems while saving lives.
Michael Wright, PhD - Scientific Coordinator
Michael has been at the National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP)/Be The Match® since 2011, working in Bioinformatics. Previously, he was involved in three fields of research for twenty-two years before coming to the United States. He received his PhD in solid state physics from Sheffield University in 1990 (Quasi-elastic and Inelastic Neutron Scattering from Amorphous Metal Hydrides). He then moved to building science where he investigated daylight and lighting including emergency lighting systems for visually impaired people and under smoke. He went on to a government research establishment to work on building safety, where he wrote the British Standard on stairs and the associated UK Building Regulation. He also advised the British navy on how to provide safety lighting for the oldest serving warship—HMS Victory, launched 1765.