Blanca E. Himes, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Epidemiology
Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology
Institute for Biomedical Informatics

Ph.D. degree in Medical Physics and Bioinformatics from the Division of Health Sciences and Technology of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and B.S. degree in Physics from the University of California, San Diego. After completing postdoctoral work and spending four years as a faculty member at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Himes moved to the University of Pennsylvania. She is a member of two UPenn Graduate Groups: Genomics and Computational Biology and Epidemiology and Biostatistics. You can read more about her background or download her CV.



Postdoctoral Fellows



Mengyuan Kan, Ph.D.

Ph.D. degree in genetics from Shanghai Institute for Biological sciences, Chinese Academy of Science. During her Ph.D. years, Dr. Kan was a visiting student at the center for statistical genetics in Baylor College of Medicine. After graduation, she worked in Shanghai Ninth People’s hospital. Her scientific passion lies in explaining the genetic and environmental contributions to complex diseases using high-throughput data.







Kseniya Obraztsova, Ph.D.

Ph.D. Degree in Cell and Molecular Biology from Rowan School of Osteopathic Medicine. During her Ph.D. years, Dr. Obraztsova studied mechanisms via which E.coli transcription factors affect the secondary channel of RNA polymerase using high-throughput sequencing data. Her scientific passion lies in combining traditional molecular biology methods with genomics approaches in the search for therapeutic targets for human diseases. [In collaboration with the Krymskaya Lab]





Graduate Students



Sherrie Xie
B.S. Degree in Biochemistry and B.A. degrees in Biology and Chemistry from the University of Chicago. Sherrie is a VMD-PhD candidate in epidemiology with an interest in data science and using health informatics to arrive at a better understanding of environmental contributors to disease and gene-environment interactions.







UPenn Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Health Program Students

Maya Shumyatcher
Maya Shumyatcher
Rebecca Greenblatt









Undergraduate Students

Laila Balkhi (UPenn Earth and Environmental Sciences)

Edward Zhao (UPenn Biochemistry and Mathematical Biology)


Web Design and Development

Manuel Ruidiaz
Samantha Zauscher
William Zauscher


How to Join the Lab

We welcome highly motivated individuals to inquire about positions. We especially seek those with a quantitative background, proficiency in R/Matlab/Python programming, experience working in a high performance computing environment, knowledge of web design, and a demonstrated interest in genomics research. Interested parties can contact Dr. Himes for more details.


Previous Students

Graduate Rotation Students

Todd Miano (Fall 2015)

Master’s in Biotechnology

Jessica Levin (Fall 2014-Fall 2015)

Master of Public Health

Jasmine Jones (Fall 2014-Spring 2015)

Natasha Sastri (Fall 2014-Spring 2015)


Kareha Agesa (Penn LDI Summer Undergraduate Minority Research Program 2016)

Jennifer Viveiros (Drexel Biology Fall 2015-Spring 2016)

Omar Mansour (Penn LDI Summer Undergraduate Minority Research Program 2015)

Enrique Torres Hernandez (Penn LDI Summer Undergraduate Minority Research Program 2015)

Christopher Range (Fall 2014-Spring 2015)