alumni Spotlight

Yared Kidane

I received a Bachelor of Science degree in Statistics from Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia and a Master of Science degree in Information Technology from the Royal Institute of Technology in... Read More

Christopher D Lasher

Genetics, Bioinformatics, and Computational Biology
  • Program: Genetics, Bioinformatics, and Computational Biology
  • College: Graduate School
  • Degree Received: Ph.D.
  • Personal Webpage:
  • Year Recruited: 2007
  • Year Graduated: 2012
  • Advisor(s): T. M. Murali, Padma Rajagopalan
  • Thesis Title: Discovering contextual connections between biological processes using high-throughput data


I received my bachelors degree in biology from the University of Georgia, where I continued to work as a research technician, studying the bacterial community composition of the salt marshes of Georgia's coast. Continuing my academic career, I joined the Genetics, Bioinformatics, and Computational Biology Ph.D. program at Virginia Tech. For my dissertation I applied and developed several methods to discover high-level trends in treatment-control studies. These methods integrated multiple sources of high-throughput biological data, including protein interaction networks, gene expression, and gene annotations. Following graduate school I held a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Center for Biotechnology Information where I investigated using epigenetic data to identify patterns in regulatory elements of the genome. Today I focus on software development in the space of life sciences software.

I work at 5AM Solutions, Inc. I work with biotechnology companies both large and small to develop robust software used internally to the companies and also used by their customers. Every day I work alongside life scientists, bioinformatics scientists, professional software developers, business analysts, and business managers. The skills I learned in CTE on communicating across disciplines and swiftly accumulating knowledge in new technologies have made me extremely successful in my career so far.