Biomathematics Ph.D. Program

Benjamin Chu
Entered program in 2016
I study optimization and statistical methods for human genetics. Some relevant areas include high dimensional statistics, GLMs, MM algorithms, and parallel computing.


Christine Craib
Entered program in 2019
I am specifically interested in the application of mathematics to human and medical problems. My background is in mathematics, with research on gonorrhea and population dynamics. 


Mauricio Cruz Loya
Entered program in 2015
I study the way that multiple antibiotics interact with each other and with different stressors such as temperature from a theoretical and computational perspective under the supervision of Van Savage. I particularly enjoy collaborating with experimental biologists: some current projects include modeling of resistant cancer cells under different combinations of drugs, and modeling quiescent bacterial cells. My interests span microbial ecology, systems biology, cell biology, mathematical modeling, network theory, and applied statistics.


Paheli Desai-Chowdhry
Entered program in 2018 
I am interested in mathematical modeling in neuroscience. I am working with Professor Van Savage on developing a framework to analyze neuron morphology and scaling in single neurons and neuronal networks. I am testing theoretical predictions with 3D image data from neurons in a wide range of brain regions and species including humans, rodents, reptiles, chimpanzees, tigers, elephants, and whales. 


Alexander Fisher
Entered program in 2016
I work in Dr. Marc Suchard's group and I develop stochastic and statistical models for phylogeny reconstruction and implement them in the open-source Bayesian Evolutionary Analysis Sampling Trees (BEAST) software package. Broadly, I enjoy using mathematics to learn about genetics, epidemiology and evolution. 


Mariana Harris 
Entered program in 2019


Gabriel Hassler
Entered program in 2017
I work with Dr. Marc Suchard on models of phenotypic (trait) evolution. I develop new statistical methods for these models and implement them in the phylogenetic inference software BEAST. I use these methods to study patterns of evolution in primate brains, prokaryotes, HIV, and more.


Alfonso Landeros
Entered program in 2016


Tianyun (Jason) Lin
Entered program in 2016
I am working with Professor Van Savage on various projects that embark on exploring the dynamics, topological characteristics, and evolution of food webs using mechanistic models. I am also interested in Network Science, Theoretical Ecology, and Evolutionary Game Theory. Please check out my personal website.


Christian Mason
Entered program in 2014
I work on theoretical models of risk assessment for pathogen emergence in the Lloyd-Smith Lab. I use stochastic modeling frameworks and simulation-based inference. More info at


Rachel Mester
Entered program in 2019


Jianxiao Yang
Entered program in 2018


Xinzhe Zuo
Entered program in 2019


Recent Graduates

Julian Landaw
Grad Year: 2019
Advisor: Zhilin Qu
Dissertation: Cardiac Memory in the Genesis of Arrhythmias
Post-grad Plans:      Completing MD at UCLA-Caltech Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP)



Bhaven Mistry   
Grad Year: 2019
Advisor: Tom Chou
Dissertation: Stochastic Physics of Biological Assays and Improved Inference
Post-grad Plans:      Assistant Director, Quantitative and Computing Lab; Visiting Assistant Professor of Mathematical Sciences, Claremont McKenna College



Song Xu  
Grad Year: 2019
Advisor: Tom Chou
Dissertation: Mathematical Modeling of Clonal Dynamics in Primate Hematopoiesis
Post-grad Plans:      Data Scientist at Signifyd Inc.



Lae Un Kim  
Grad Year: 2017
Advisor: Tom Chou
Dissertation: Mathematical models of stress disorders: Neuroendocrine dynamics and response
Post-grad Plans:      Postdoc at Northwestern



Elif Tekin  
Grad Year: 2017
Advisor: Van Savage
Dissertation: Emergent patterns in vascular networks and interaction networks: A network-centric approach for studying complex systems
Post-grad Plans:      Postdoctoral Researcher at UCLA



Kevin Keys  
Grad Year: 2016
Advisor: Ken Lange
Dissertation: Projection algorithms for large scale optimization and genomic data analysis
Post-grad Plans:      Postdoc at UCSF



Trevor Shaddox  
Grad Year: 2016
Advisor: Marc Suchard
Dissertation: Learning clinical outcomes from massive observational data
Post-grad Plans:      Resident at UCLA Psychiatry Residency Training Program



Wesley Kerr  
Grad Year: 2015
Advisor: Mark Cohen
Dissertation: Developing and Integrating Computer-Aided Diagnostic Tools into Clinical Medicine
Post-grad Plans:      Neurology Resident at UCLA



Gabriela Cybis  
Grad Year: 2014
Advisor: Marc Suchard
Dissertation: Phenotypic Bayesian phylodynamics: hierarchical graph models, antigenic clustering and latent liabilities
Post-grad Plans:      Assistant Professor in the Department of Statistics, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil