Bioinformatics & Biostatistics Core

Scott A. Givan, Ph.D.
Director, Bioinformatics and Biostatistics Core

Dr. Scott Givan is an informatics expert with more than two decades of experience analyzing, summarizing and visualizing large, multidimensional biological datasets and managing informatics cores and high-performance computing infrastructures.

He earned his Ph.D. in biology from University of Oregon, and subsequently served in a number of informatics management and faculty roles. Prior to joining Van Andel Institute in 2019 as director of its Bioinformatics and Biostatistics Core, he was the associate director of the Informatics Research Core Facility at University of Missouri. While there, he served as co-PI or co-investigator on grants that supported research into GABA receptor expression, anti-human papilloma virus drug-DNA interactions and the genetic relationship between plant morphology and seed amino acid characteristics. He also participated in numerous projects dealing with metagenomics, microbiomics, genome assembly and annotation and transcriptomics.

His work has been published in numerous high-impact journals, including Science, Nature, Genome Biology and Nucleic Acids Research.

Tim Triche, Ph.D. 
Faculty Advisor 

Dr. Tim Triche, Jr., earned his A.B. in chemistry from Cornell University, followed by an M.S. in biostatistics and a Ph.D. in statistical genetics from University of Southern California. Prior to joining Van Andel Institute in 2017, he served as a postdoctoral fellow in the Jane Anne Nohl Division of Hematology at USC’s Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, where he studied the roles of cellular and immune senescence in benign and malignant blood disorders, including acute myeloid leukemia and pediatric leukemia. He has been a key member of The Cancer Genome Atlas Research Network since 2011, and has contributed to more than a dozen of the consortium’s publications in journals such as Nature and Cell. As a statistician with interests in both basic and translational research, Dr. Triche’s work focuses on improving patient outcomes and quality of life through the design of randomized clinical trials, which are critical components of moving promising therapies from the lab to the doctor’s office.

Core Team

Daisy Fu, Ph.D.
Bioinformatics Scientist

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Dr. Fu joined Van Andel Institute’s Bioinformatics and Biostatistics Core in August 2020. She obtained her B.Sc. in agronomy from China Agricultural University. After graduation, she earned a Ph.D. in plant and environmental sciences from Clemson University. She subsequently served as a postdoctoral researcher at Washington State University and Texas A&M University, where she studied genomics of insect pests and beneficial nematodes in agroecosystems.

Jay Kim, B.S.
Bioinformatics Analyst I

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Jay Kim joined Van Andel institute’s Bioinformatics and Biostatistics Core in April 2021. He received his B.S. in forest management, and then worked as a bioinformatics technician at a NGS service company and university in South Korea. During that time, he contributed to automating NGS data analysis pipelines, troubleshooting in-house programs and microbial community data analysis. He brings extensive programming skills to the Core.

Kin Lau, Ph.D.
Bioinformatics Research Scientist

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Dr. Kin Lau joined the Institute’s Bioinformatics and Biostatistics Core in February 2019. He earned his B.Sc. in biology at Davidson College and his Ph.D. in plant genetics and breeding at Purdue University. After his Ph.D., Dr. Lau became a postdoctoral fellow at Michigan State University, where he worked on identifying genetic variants associated with orange flesh color in sweet potato, drought response in the sweet potato transcriptome and discovery of genes involved in producing important secondary metabolites in medicinal plants. Dr. Lau brings experience in a variety of next-generation sequencing-based methods including variant calling, genome and transcriptome assembly, comparative genomics, differential gene expression analysis and Nanopore cDNA sequencing.

Zach Madaj
Zach Madaj, M.S.

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Zach Madaj joined the Bioinformatics and Biostatistics Core as a biostatistician in 2015. A graduate of the University of Michigan (M.S., biostatistics) and Grand Valley State University (B.S., mathematics), he brings statistical analysis, consulting, and teaching experience to the core. His focus is on study design, statistical analysis, and the development of educational resources.

Emily Wolfrum
Emily Wolfrum, MPH

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Emily Wolfrum joined the Bioinformatics and Biostatistics Core as a biostatistician in 2017. After earning her B.S. in biology from Aquinas College, she completed her Master’s of Public Health at University of Michigan with a focus on hospital and molecular epidemiology. She brings both lab experience and knowledge of epidemiological theory and application to the Core.

Adjunct Core Staff

Ian Beddows, Ph.D.
Bioinformatics Research Scientist

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Dr. Ian Beddows joined Van Andel Research Institute’s Bioinformatics and Biostatistics Core in February 2018. He received his Bachelor’s in biology from Northern Michigan University followed by a M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Düsseldorf in Germany. His graduate research in population genetics focused on understanding genomic variation in wild populations using high-throughput sequence data.