Derek M Pavelec, Ph.D.
Director, Bioinformatics Resource Center
Biotechnology Center, room 2130B

Background: Derek joined the UWBC Bioinformatics Resource Center in 2012.  He earned Bachelor’s degrees in biology and biochemistry from Wartburg College.  He received a PhD in molecular pharmacology from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.  During the early days of next-generation sequencing, he developed methods to use the technology to study the molecular mechanism of RNA interference.  He worked as Molecular Geneticist and the Director of Informatics for PreventionGentics, a clinical testing laboratory, to develop clinical tests based on high throughput sequencing platforms.  In 2012, he returned to the University of Wisconisn as a bioinformatician working on human genomic testing for the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene.  Derek was named the director of the Bioinformatics Resource Center in 2016.

Jean-Yves Sgro, Ph.D.
Instructor, Bioinformatics Resource Center
Biotechnology Center, room 2106

Background: Jean-Yves has been teaching the Next Gen. hands-on workshop for the Bioinformatics Resource Center since 2012, a natural evolution from microarray data analysis started in 2005. Jean-Yves has been at UW since 1986 after a Master in Physiology and a Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the Joseph Fourier University, Grenoble, France, researched at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EBML) where he already trained in sequence analysis with, coincidentally, a software developed at the Biotechnology Center. This wet-lab and computer expertise allied with 3D molecular visualization methods and other computer analyzes were key to his joining the Biotechnology Center in 1996 to help Campus biologists analyze or visualize their data, while continuing research at the Institute for Molecular Virology (IMV) until 2014 when this part-time position was transferred to the Biochemistry department. His knowledge on older computer systems helped him develop the current workshops that are based on open-source software data analysis providing extensive hands-on training.

Mark Berres, Ph.D.
Bioinformatician, Bioinformatics Resource Center
Biotechnology Center, room 2130A

Background: Mark joined the UWBC Bioinformatics Resource Center in 2016.  He received a B.S. in Genetics and Cellular Biology at the University of Minnesota – St. Paul and a PhD in Zoology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research focused on how mating systems affect the genetic population structure of both passerine and non-passerine birds, especially manakins, hummingbirds and Red Junglefowl. After completing a postdoc in Genomic Sciences at UW-Madison, he continued ornithological research at UW-Madison also teaching many courses including Ornithology, Birds of Southern Wisconsin, and Avian Physiology for ten years. He conceived of and developed the patented WeBIRD (Wisconsin Electronic Bird Identification Resource Database) technology, first as a research tool to monitor birds in remote areas, and then as a mobile educational application that supports learners identifying birds in the field. Joining the Bioinformatics Resource Center in 2016, his emphasis on interdisciplinary and integrated activities continues and combined with expertise in molecular and population genetics, statistics, and bioinformatics, supports varied research themes for other investigators. He can often be found Saturday mornings at the Biocore Prairie Bird Banding Observatory mist-netting birds during the spring and fall months.

Sailendharan Sudakaran, Ph.D.
Microbiome Hub Manager
Wisconsin Institute of Discovery, room 1156

Background: Sailendharan joined the UWBC Bioinformatics Resource Center in 2018.  He has a Bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology from University of Madras, India.  He has a Master’s degree in “Industrial and Commercial Biotechnology” from Newcastle University, United Kingdom.  He received a PhD from the Max Planck Institute of Chemical Ecology, Germany.  Sailendharan is the manager of the Madison Microbiome Hub (a joint venture between the UW Biotechnology Center and the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery) and the Multi Omics Hub Coordinator.


Olaf Mueller, Ph.D.
Bioinformatician, Bioinformatics Resource Center
Biotechnology Center, room 2130D


Olaf joined the UWBC Bioinformatics Resource Center in 2023. He received an M.S. in Biology at Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany, and a Ph.D. in Biology at University of Cologne, Germany. His early research focused on the genomic and molecular basis for cellular interactions in pathogenic, symbiotic and commensal microbes. He combined experimental and computational approaches to explore pathogen-host interactions of the fungal plant pathogen Ustilago maydis and related fungal species with their respective plant host organisms. His work identified new secreted effector proteins, which are essential for the early stages of pathogenic development. In subsequent research appointments, at University of Iowa and Duke University, he shifted exclusively to computational biology and bioinformatics. Utilizing comparative genomic methods, he characterized meiosis-related gene inventories in fungi, and expanded his studies to the field of lichen symbiosis, aimed to improve our understanding of the genomic foundation for symbiotic relationships between lichen phyto- and mycosymbionts. During his appointments as Bioinformatician II at Duke University Medical Center, and Bioinformatic Specialist at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, he contributed a broad range of bioinformatic analyses in medical and basic research, with relevance to human health, crop safety and environmental contexts. He investigated diverse fungal and bacterial human pathogens, like Cryptococcus and Chlamydia, as well as commensal, environmental microbes, like Exiguobacterium. Further studies included the characterization of microbial communities (microbiomes), associated to human diseases, and environmental systems. His recent work contributed to the exploration of transcriptomic signatures in fish, insects and crustaceans, related to their sensitivity and common responses to nanomaterials.

Chathura Wijesinghe, Ph.D.
Bioinformatician, Bioinformatics Resource Center
Biotechnology Center, room 2130C


Chathura joined the UWBC Bioinformatics Resource Center in 2023. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in Bioinformatics from University of Colombo, Sri Lanka in and a PhD in Biological sciences form Louisiana State University (U.S.A). During his PhD work he studied plant stress tolerance adaptations using comparative genomic methods.

UWCCC Informatics Shared Resource
Wisconsin Institute for Medical Research
Phone: 265-2359
Email: Sean McIlwain (Manager)

Background: BRC and CISR partnerd in 2014. The goal of this partnership is to allow UWCCC members access to the standardized pipeline services and experimental design consultation services provided by BRC. The CISR group will then expand upon these standard services to offer a customized bioinformatics analysis plan for UWCCC investigators.