David Hillis, Ph.D.

David Hillis is an American evolutionary biologist, and the Alfred W. Roark Centennial Professor of Biology at the University of Texas at Austin. He is best known for his studies of molecular evolution, phylogeny, and vertebrate systematics.



in coordination with the Center for Biomedical Research Support


Dhivya Arasappan, M.S., (Research Scientist)

Dhivya Arasappan has many years experience analyzing NGS data from multiple platforms: Illumina, PacBio and SOLiD. Her areas of expertise include: de novo genome assembly, particularly using hybrid sequencing data, RNA-Seq analysis, exome analysis, and benchmarking of bioinformatics tools. She is the research educator for the Big Data in Biology Freshman Research Initiative stream and teaches an RNA-Seq course as part of the Summer School for Big Data in Biology.

Benni Goetz, M.S., (Research Engineering/Scientist Associate III)

Benni Goetz joined the Bioinformatics Consulting Group in 2012. Before joining, Benni studied differential geometry at the University of Texas and completed a Master's Degree in Mathematics.

Dennis Wylie, Ph.D., (Research Scientist)

Dr. Dennis Wylie joined the Bioinformatics group in 2015. He has experience in NGS data analysis (including variant calling and analysis of RNA-seq and metagenomic data) and application of statistical and machine learning methods to biological data sets for biomarker discovery, pathway analysis, classification and regression modeling, and motif analysis. Prior to UT, Dennis earned a PhD in Biophysics from UC Berkeley applying stochastic simulation methods to problems in immunology and did postdoctoral work in modeling the transmission of infectious diseases on contact networks before spending six years as a bioinformatician in industry.

Anna Battenhouse, Ph.D., (DevOps Specialist)

Anna Battenhouse is a research scientist in the labs of Drs. Edward Marcotte and Vishy Iyer as well as leading the Biomedical Research Support Facility in its mission to support the IT and computational needs of the UT Austin biomedical research community. She has extensive experience working with NGS data, and teaches the Introduction to NGS Tools course in the Big Data in Biology Summer School as well as several CCBB short courses.

Sean Provost (System Support Specialist)

Sean is the CBRS’ Systems Support Specialist. He has worked closely with Anna Battenhouse to develop and maintain the Biomedical Research Support Facility and is the liaison between the facility and the College of Natural Science’s Office of Information Technology. Sean’s position includes working with hardware vendors for purchasing and procurement purposes, initial operating system configurations, physical hardware installations, and troubleshooting systems if something goes wrong. Sean received a B.S. in Criminal Justice from the University of North Texas in 2007.


Nicole Elmer

Administrative Associate

Nicole designs and maintains the CCBB website, all print materials for CCBB-related events and promotion, in addition to design work for other PIs on campus. Nicole handles the large-format poster printing services for CCBB, assists with conferences, the short courses and summer school, CCBB and service center accounting/purchasing needs, inventory, and some travel and student appointments.


: 512-471-5261

Laurie Alvarez

Beacon Center Coordinator

Laurie is responsible for all aspects of the BEACON award, including but not limited to, faculty, staff, and student appointments; travel (RTA documents and reimbursements); inventory; purchasing (including equipment); time sheets; tuition payments; etc.