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A Collaborative & Diverse Group

Click on a lab member to find out more about them!



Principal Investigator

Dr. LaBella has researched organisms from across the tree of life from deep-sea clams to humans. Her current research focuses on harnessing genomic patterns to extract new and exciting biological information. She has 2 dogs and 2 cats! She loves making crafts, playing disc golf, and gardening


Lauren Dineen

Postdoctoral Scholar

Lauren was awarded her PhD from the University of Manchester, UK where her research focused on the role of transfer RNA in pathogenicity and drug resistance in the human fungal pathogen, Aspergillus fumigatus. Lauren is new to Charlotte and enjoys going to her local brewery run club, and exploring Plaza Midwood.


Caroline West

PhD Student

Caroline is a Bioinformatics PhD student with a Master's of Science in Chemistry and a Bachelors of Science in Nursing. She has always been fascinated with the structure-function relationship of nucleic acids and learning the mechanisms behind disease processes. When she isn't learning a new analytical method or in classes, she is taking her daughters to Discovery Place to encourage them to enjoy knowledge discovery the same way that she has.


Stevie Clemens

PhD Student

Stevie is a PHD student in Bioinformatics with a Masters in Bioinformatics and an undergrad background in Biology and Mathematics. He has worked on projects involving horizontal gene transfers, horizontal transfers, and the microbiome. He enjoys basketball, volleyball and walks on the greenway.


Stella Lo


Stella has a B.A. in Computer Science from McGill University (Montréal, Québec) and is currently working full-time as a technical product manager. She is now dipping her toes into the world of bioinformatics and deciding if she wants to pursue higher education in this domain. Outside of work, she loves dancing ballet, reading, and wandering around the city. 


Sun Lee


 Sun is junior at Cannon School and very interested in researching fungi and plants. Outside of his fascination with science, he plays tennis, organizes service events and student events, and serves as a math tutor.


Aayu Kalaria

Undergraduate Researcher

Aayu is a junior student at UNC Charlotte, majoring in Computer Science with a concentration in Bioinformatics. Aayu is currently researching orthology and genetic annotations in budding yeasts. In her spare time, she enjoys dancing, cooking, and exploring new places. 


Sanjita Srinath

High School Research Volunteer

Sanjita is a senior in high school looking to major in biomedical engineering with a focus on computational biology and biostatistics in college. Outside of academics, she enjoys baking, robotics, and reading mystery novels


Isha Jain

Master's Volunteer

Isha is a Master’s student in Bioinformatics with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. She has a strong passion for helping underrepresented communities and hopes to pursue a line of research addressing challenges in that area. Isha enjoys classical dance, painting, and working with local South Asian fashion designers in her free time.




Colin Speer

Master's 2024

Colin worked in our lab on various human and yeast evolution projects. His research interests are utilizing machine learning and statistics to address challenges in cancer research. He also indulges in his passion for sports by avidly following hockey and Formula One.


Bryan Zavala

Masters 2023

Bryan graduated with his Master’s in Bioinformatics at UNC Charlotte. He worked (and continues to work!) on a project characterizing codon usage in the budding yeasts. 


Tazkia Ahmed

Master's 2023

Tazkia graduated with her Master's in Bioinformatics at UNC. Tazkia is interested in learning more about genetic variations in humans in relation to evolution. In her spare time, outside of work and academia, she loves traveling, singing, and hiking.

The LaBella Lab is currently looking for talented and motivated graduate students and postdocs. If you are interested please reach out to Dr. LaBella at alabell3 dot UNCC dot edu

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