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Alina Hamilton

Alina Hamilton
Postdoctoral Research Associate- Pathobiology and Translational Science

Alina is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Hoadley and Troester labs studying the tumor microenvironment and its association with racial and survivorship disparities in breast cancer. Alina received her Bachelor’s of Science in Biology at the University of Texas Pan American followed by a Masters in Biology at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, where she studied the effect of exogenous exposures and precocious puberty on mammary gland development and breast cancer risk. Alina also participates in UNC’s Graduate Program in Translational Medicine, through which she is working with her clinical co-mentor, Dr. Benjamin C. Calhoun, on molecular characterization of benign breast disease for improved breast cancer risk stratification. Outside of her work in the lab, Alina volunteers at the annual Susan G. Komen® Triangle Race for the Cure and participates in scientific outreach benefiting her local North Carolina community. She also enjoys spending time with her family and dog, long distance running and cycling, playing guitar and gardening.



Ian Sturgill

Ian Sturgill
Graduate Student, Bioinformatics and Computational Biology

Ian is a graduate student in the Bioinformatics and Computational Biology program at UNC Chapel Hill who joined the Hoadley Lab in May 2020. He earned a B.S. in Biological Sciences (Microbiology) from CSU Sacramento. As an undergraduate, he worked in a pathogenic bacteriology lab investigating the prevalence of non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli in cattle and performing molecular identification of co-occurring virulence factors. Ian went on to also earn an M.A. in Biological Sciences (Stem Cell Research) and, as part of the program, was an intern in a UC Davis Institute for Regenerative Cures lab focused on cancer immunobiology. As an intern, and later as a Junior Specialist in the lab after graduating, he participated in a wide range of projects with focuses including topic areas such as cancer stem cell targeting, natural killer cell biology and anti-tumor activity, and T cell activation and exhaustion in the tumor microenvironment. During this time, Ian developed an interest in using bioinformatics tools and databases to assist in exploring RNA-level marker expression, which informed our hypotheses and experimental designs. After having worked in primarily experimental settings previously, he is now pursuing computationally-focused training. Ian is excited to work with this team to leverage data in a way that contributes to a better understanding of cancer biology, which in turn may inform clinical decisions and ultimately improve patient outcomes.

Mikayla Feldbauer

Mikayla Feldbauer, Graduate Student, Bioinformatics and Computational Biology

Mikayla is a graduate student in the Bioinformatics and Computational Biology program who joined the Hoadley lab in August of 2021. They are also in the Molecular and Cellular Biophysics Program and are pursuing a certificate in Biophysics. Mikayla earned a B.S. in Interdisciplinary Science from Lycoming College, where their undergraduate thesis focused on utilizing behavioral analysis software to extract grooming behavior from videos of Drosophila melanogaster. Outside of the lab, Mikayla is an author and editor for the UNC student-run science communication blogs The Pipettepen and The NC DNA Day Blog. Outside of UNC they are a mentor in the Goldwater Scholarship Diversity & Inclusion Mentorship program. Mikayla also enjoys photography, travel, and playing/watching soccer





Peyton Kuhlers, Bionformatics Scientist


Peyton is a bioinformatics scientist in the Hoadley and Raab labs working on multi-omic data analysis and pipeline development.Peyton received his B.S. in Biochemistry with a minor in Statistics from Auburn University and is finishing his M.S. in Biostatistics at UNC. During his masters, he studied markers of pancreatic cancer subtypes and differences in subtype prediction based on sequencing platform. His master’s paper focused on using mixed effects models to analyze drug responses in patient-derived xenograft models. Outside of the lab Peyton enjoys binging Netflix and HBO shows, taking his dog on long walks, and lifting weights.



Tyler Laws, Bioinformatics Specialist

Tyler is a Bioinformatics specialist in the Hoadley Lab. Tyler graduated with a BS in Biological Science with a  concentration in Molecular Cellular Developmental Biology from North Carolina State University. Tyler loves Genomics and Cancer Research. He specifically has a huge interest in Breast Cancer! Tyler has built his Genomics/Bioinformatics experience through courses, tutoring and internships. Outside of work, Tyler loves to travel, go on runs and watch sports.







Stephanie Ting, Graduate Student, Chemistry

Stephanie is a graduate student in the Chemistry program who is also pursuing a certificate in Biophysics through the Molecular and Cellular Biophysics Program. She graduated from UC San Diego with a B.S. in Computer Science with specialization in bioinformatics in 2018 and worked as a bioinformatics staff scientist at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center analyzing large scale multiomics datasets of gastrointestinal cancers using non-negative matrix factorization. Stephanie also worked as a computational research technician at UNC analyzing drug efficacy in triple negative breast cancer. In her free time, Stephanie enjoys salsa dancing, karaoke, and photography.







Ryan Videgar-Laird, Graduate Student, Bioinformatics and Computational Biology


Ryan is a graduate student in the Bioinformatics and Computational Biology program who joined the Hoadley lab in May 2023. Ryan earned a B.S. in Molecular Biology from Messiah University in 2016, followed by an AmeriCorps service year with United Way of King County and a three-year post-bac fellowship at NHGRI in Dr. Dan Kastner’s lab studying rare autoinflammatory syndromes. During his time at NHGRI, Ryan developed an interest in translational genomic medicine, machine learning, and bioinformatics, and is excited to apply these skills to better inform cancer treatment. Outside of research he enjoys playing with his dog, backpacking, running, and cooking.




Irene Biju, Summer Intern

Irene is a fourth year Integrated BS-MS student (Biology major) at the  Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) in Pune, India. She came to the Hoadley lab as part of the Khorana scholars program organised by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Govt. of India, Indo-U.S. Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF) and WINStep Forward. She works as a summer intern at the Hoadley lab analysing subcellular resolution spatial transcriptomics data. She absolutely enjoys her work here and it has been a wonderful opportunity for her explore North Carolina as well.






Hoadley Lab Alumni

Jeff DamrauerJeffrey Damrauer, PhD

Former position: Bioinformatics Specialist

Current position: Bladder Cancer Research Program Manager, UNC Lineberger Cancer Center








Markia Smith

Markia Smith, PhD

Former position: Graduate Student, Pathobiology and Translational Science

Current position: Oncology Data Science Expert, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR)








Amber Pospistle

Amber Pospistle

Former position: High School Research Intern, Senior- NC School of Science and Math

Current Position: Undergraduate Student at the University of South Carolina