Xinxia Peng, PhD

Xinxia is an Associate Professor of Infectious diseases in the Department of Molecular Biomedical Sciences, and a member of NC State Bioinformatics Research Center. He received his PhD in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics and worked as a Bioinformatics Manager at Seattle BioMed (now Center for Global Infectious Disease Research). In 2008 he joined the University of Washington as a Computational Research Scientist. He was promoted to a Research Assistant Professor in the University of Washington Department of Microbiology in 2012. He joined NC State in July 2016 as Dean’s Faculty Excellence cluster hire, in the field of “Translational Genomics of Infectious Diseases”.

Research Staff

Tammy Tollison, MS

Tammy received a MS in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics (2011) from Emory University and a BS in Genetics (2007) from Clemson University. Prior to joining the Peng Lab, she worked as an educator for 8 years with most of this time spent as a member of the Natural Sciences department at Wake Tech Community College. Tammy joined the Peng Lab near the end of 2019 and her current role involves work with a microbiome project focused on vaginal communities as well as use of her experience with 5’RACE to be applied to other projects in the lab.

Hsuan (Tina) Chou, PhD
Tina received her PhD (2015) in plant science from University of Connecticut. She then did her postdoctoral training at the department of plant and microbial biology for one year and department of biological science for a little over two and a half years at North Carolina State University. She joined Peng’s lab in Jan. 2020.
 Graduate Student
  Hayden Brochu, Bioinformatics

After receiving a BS in Chemical Engineering and BS in Physics at NC State, Hayden chose to pursue a career in bioinformatics. He first garnered interest in bioinformatics while doing undergraduate wet lab work, where he helped validate a computational model for ribosome dynamics in E. coli. His mentor, Dr Scott Vu, started RiboWiz Scientific, while Hayden began growing his computational repertoire. Through the Genomic Sciences program at NC State, Hayden has developed expertise in a number of programming languages and bioinformatics tools. Currently a second-year Bioinformatics PhD student, Hayden joined the lab in the summer of 2017. He has used PacBio Iso-Seq to resolve alternative splicing patterns in Rhesus macaque. His current research project consists of further analysis of PacBio Iso-seq data with the goal of improving annotation of rhesus macaque MHC genes. This is part of a collaborative effort to quantify isoform expression of complex immune genes for vaccine development.

  Aiden Jones, Genetics

Following completion of her BS in Biochemistry (2017) at Eastern Michigan University, Aiden joined the Peng Lab for her graduate training where she focused on the usage of CRISPRi to study human long non-coding RNAs and their involvement during HIV infection. This work led Aiden to acquiring a MR in Genetics (degree to be conferred May 2021) from North Carolina State University. During her time at NCSU, Aiden became proficient at transducing vectors into human cell lines, handling BSL2 pathogens like HIV during infections, propagations, and titrations, and preparing and sequencing RNA and DNA libraries. She is currently working in the Peng Lab as a part-time Research Technician, focused on training coworkers in these aforementioned areas of expertise.

  Ian Huntress, Bioinformatics

Ian completed a BS in Bioinformatics at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY. He is a carpetbagger for the biotechnology and graduate opportunities of the Research Triangle. Ian is searching for the most interesting intersections of machine learning and bioinformatics. His main expertise is in making new mistakes so quickly that he appears to be learning. He applies this stochastic learning to: Bash for sequence analysis, Tensorflow for neural networks, and hot skillets for naan bread.

  Kayleigh Diveley, Genetics

Kay received a MS in Microbiology (2016) and a BS in Zoology (2014) from Western Illinois University with minors in Mathematics and Chemistry. At North Carolina State University she entered as part of the PhD Genetics program in 2018 with interests in Neurobiology and Immunology. She joined Peng Lab in the Spring of 2019 to work with research being conducted on the functional impact of genetic variations in complex immune gene loci such as Fc Receptors.

Evan Walsh, Bioinformatics

Evan received a BS in Biological Sciences from NC State in 2018 and is now pursuing a PhD in Bioinformatics. After an undergraduate research position with NC State’s toxicology program studying the effects of maternal over-nutrition on metabolic syndrome he developed an interest in the bioinformatics field. Evan joined the Peng Lab in the spring of 2019 and is interest in data processing involving single-cell RNA sequencing.

Kristen John, Genetics

I graduated with a B.S. in Cell & Molecular Biology from Liberty University in 2019 and joined the Peng Lab in the spring of 2020. My general research interests are in understanding the biological mechanisms behind human disease.

Jessie Chappel, Bioinformatics

Jessie graduated from Greenville University in 2020 with a BA in biology and chemistry. During her undergraduate research, she used C. elegans as a model organism to elucidate the neurological effects that follow ingestion of the kava plant. After the realization that she enjoyed data analysis more than running experiments, she decided to pursue a PhD in bioinformatics. She is interested in how differences in one’s microbiome may impact their health.


Lab Alumni
  • Anna Chernikov, Undergraduate (Computer Science & Biology), 2019-2020
  • Anne Crews, Laboratory Supervisor (part-time), 2019-2020
  • Sarah Hudadoff, Rotation (Genetics), 2019 Fall
  • Sam McMillan, Rotation (Genetics), 2019 Fall
  • Amy Nipper, Research Assistant, 2018-2019
  • Ashley Kilgore, Visiting student (Biotechnology, Johns Hopkins University), 2019 Spring
  • Caizhi David Huang, Rotation (Bioinformatics), 2019 Spring
  • Ryan Li, Undergraduate (Mathematics), 2016-2018
  • Alexis Johnson, Undergraduate (Microbiology), 2018
  • Manfred Meng, Research Scientist, 2018
  • Connor Campbell, Graduate Intern (Analytics), 2017-2018
  • Fang Yang, Research Associate, 2017-2018
  • Erin Harrell, Research Associate, 2016-2018
  • David Lemler, Postdoctoral Fellow, 2016-2017