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Dedicated research scientists implementing advanced bioinformatics pipelines and providing bioinformatics support for specific projects. This core is jointly funded by the UNC Neuroscience Center core grant and the UNC Clinical Translational Research Center for Neurodevelopmental Disorders grant.

Faculty Director:
Mark J. Zylka, Ph.D.
Phone: 919-966-2540

Bioinformatics Scientists:
Jeremy M. Simon, Ph.D.
Phone: 919-966-4050

Austin J. Hepperla, Ph.D.
Phone: 919-966-4068


Data analysis and biological interpretation are increasingly frequent barriers preventing investigators and trainees from utilizing the numerous multifaceted high-throughput sequencing-based approaches supported by UNC’s High-Throughput Sequencing Facility (HTSF; in their research. The Bioinformatics Core aims to bridge this gap by providing support for NINDS-funded investigators ranging from experimental design to biological interpretation of their results, as well as helping act as liaison between the lab and the HTSF.
We build custom software analysis pipelines and bioinformatics tools, as well as design thenovel analytical and data integration approaches necessary to facilitate answering the cutting-edge questions in neuroscience.
We specialize in large-scale studies utilizing one or more of the following assays, either in isolation or with high-level integration:

  • Gene expression and alternative splicing
  • mRNA-seq (polyA+)
  • Total RNA-seq (riboMinus, riboZero)
  • Chromatin-based assays
  • ChIP-seq (transcription factor or histone occupancy)
  • FAIRE-seq (open chromatin/regulatory elements)
  • DNase-seq (open chromatin/regulatory elements)
  • ATAC-seq (open chromatin/regulatory elements)
  • MNase-seq (nucleosome positioning)
  • Genotyping
  • Whole genome sequencing
  • Exome or targeted sequencing
  • Microbiomics/metagenomics
  • 16S rRNA

Investigators are encouraged to contact bioinformatics scientist or core director to discuss their specific needs.


Determined in consultation with the core director.