Xinxia Peng, PhD

Xinxia is a tenured 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, Lab Manager

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.

 Graduate Student 
 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.

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.

Nicole Adams, Bioinformatics

I received my B.S. in Biological Sciences at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 2020, and now I am pursuing a PhD in Bioinformatics. My research interests lie in identifying and understanding genetic predispositions that cause human diseases.

Sangmi Jeong, Bioinformatics

I received a MA in Statistics in 2021 from Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea. I am pursuing a PhD in Bioinformatics at North Carolina State University. I chose the Peng Lab because I’m interested in their microbiome research. I am learning how deep sequencing analysis help understanding the relationship between host immune responses and microbiome, and what computational methods can be applied when analyzing the data. I am looking forward to gaining knowledge and experience in the Peng Lab.

Umang Joshi, Bioinformatics (Rotation)

I received my B.S. in Biology and Computer Science with a minor in Mathematics at Xavier University (Ohio) in 2021 and am currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Bioinformatics. My research interests lie in analyzing and understanding immune genes and how this impacts cell type determination and immunity.
James Park, Bioinformatics (Rotation)
Christal Dita, Zoology

Christal is a Zoology student minoring in Biotechnology at NC State. She joined the Peng Lab in 2022 to pursue her interests in immunology and pathology. As an undergraduate researcher, Christal mainly assists with the study of Fc Receptors, occasionally helping out with other projects being conducted in the laboratory. Her aspirations include attending graduate school for virology or genetics and subsequently attaining a career in infectious disease research.
Lab Alumni
Name, Position / Last known position
 Silvia Shui, Undergraduate (Cellular, Molecular, and Developmental Biology), 2021-2022 / Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Stephen Griggs, Rotation (Bioinformatics), 2022 Fall
Evan Walsh, PhD in Bioinformatics (2022) / Capsida Biotherapeutics
Nika Tadic, Rotation (Bioinformatics), 2021 Fall
Hsuan (Tina) Chou, Research Associate, 2019-2021 / Owlstone Medical
Hayden Brochu, PhD in Bioinformatics (2021) / Labcorp
Aiden Jones, MR in Genetics (2021) / Cell Microsystems
Jessie Chappel, Rotation (Bioinformatics), 2019 Spring
Anna Chernikov, Undergraduate (Computer Science & Biology), 2019-2020 / PhD student in Computer Science, University of Arizona
Anne Crews, Laboratory Supervisor (part-time), 2019-2020 / Retired
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 / PhD student in Statistics, NC State
Alexis Johnson, Undergraduate (Microbiology), 2018
Manfred Meng, Research Scientist, 2018 / Duke University
Connor Campbell, Graduate Intern (Analytics), 2017-2018 / Fidelity Investments
Fang Yang, Research Associate, 2017-2018 / Texas A&M University
Erin Harrell, Research Associate, 2016-2018 / NC State
David Lemler, Postdoctoral Fellow, 2016-2017 / Medical Writer