Phyloinformatics Lab

Our Team and External Collaborators

The Phyloinformatics Lab was inaugurated on August 15, 2022, as part of UNC Charlotte’s CIPHER research center. We are also always happy to discuss further collaborations.

Meet Our Team

Denis Jacob Machado (he/him) Denis Jacob Machado (he/him) Assistant Professor
Paula Prieto Oliveira (she/her) Paula Prieto Oliveira (she/her) Postdoctoral Fellow
Philippe Vieira Alves (he/him) Philippe Vieira Alves (he/him) Postdoctoral Fellow (external)
Omkar Marne (he/him) Omkar Marne (he/him) Ph.D. student and teaching assistant
Reyhaneh Nouri (she/her) Reyhaneh Nouri (she/her) Ph.D. student and research assistant
Bou Haidara (he/him) Bou Haidara (he/him) Master's student and research assistance
Johannes Schultheis (he/him) Johannes Schultheis (he/him) Master's student (external)
Anastasiia Duchenko (she/her) Anastasiia Duchenko (she/her) Phylogenetics and Artificial Intelligence Specialist

External Collaborators

This list is ordered alphabetically (first name). It does not include collaborators from UNC Charlotte or its CIPHER research center.

Elton Popp Antunes (he/him) Elton Popp Antunes (he/him) Zoologist
Fernando Portella de Luna Marques (he/him) Fernando Portella de Luna Marques (he/him) Professor
Gabriel Massami Izumi de Freitas (he/him) Gabriel Massami Izumi de Freitas (he/him) Bioinformaticist
Kary Ocaña (she/her) Kary Ocaña (she/her) Full Researcher
Larry Antonio Jiménez Ferbans (he/him) Larry Antonio Jiménez Ferbans (he/him) Associate Professor
Taran Grant (he/him) Taran Grant (he/him) Professor
Vladimir Mashanov (he/him) Vladimir Mashanov (he/him) Associate Research Scientist


Cameron Jones (he/him) Cameron Jones (he/him) Undergraduate Student (external)
Drashti Mehta (she/her) Drashti Mehta (she/her) Master's student and lab's intern
Hannah Zeru (she/her) Hannah Zeru (she/her) Undergraduate Student

The Phyloinformatics Lab promotes equity, equality, diversity, and inclusion in STEM, other academic fields, and the industry. We strive to be a safe and inclusive workspace by creating a sense of community and providing multiple ways for our team to learn, communicate, succeed, and connect new ideas to goals.


Please see our NEWS section for updated opportunities for students (undergraduate and graduate) and postdocs. Come back later if you do not find a position that interests you now, or contact us to talk about the future.



National Institutes of Health

Dr. Denis Jacob Machado received a pilot award for the project “A large scale virtual screen of compounds database against viral drug targets” (proposal number: IPF2023-0761, BANNER fund number: 570500, period: 01-May-2023 to 30-Apr-2025, total costs: $462,000 USD).

This is a mentored award submitted in response to a request from the parent award “Antiviral Drug Discovery (AViDD) Centers for Pathogens of Pandemic Concern” (RFA-AI-21-050), by the READDi initiative at UNC Chapel Hill. Dr. Jacob Machado thanks Dr. Daniel A. Janies for acting as the mentor in this award.

Click here to read more about NIH’s Antiviral Drug Discovery (AViDD) centers for pathogens of pandemic concern.

National Science Foundation

UNC Charlotte

The Phyloinformatics Lab received different types of support from UNC Charlotte:

Our lab also benefitted from generous startup funds from UNC Charlotte.


Dr. Jacob Machado has accumulated 10+ years of uninterrupted research funding, including highly competitive awards and an extensive track record of developing and organizing multidisciplinary research projects from São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP, file nos. 2009/00886-3, 2009/13561-5, 2013/05958-8, and 2015/18654-2). These include three long-term projects and a one-year internship that initiated an international collaboration involving the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNC Charlotte) and USP in 2016. Furthermore, I Dr. Jacob Machado has been a bioinformatics collaborator of Professor Fernando P. L. Marques (USP) on a four-year project since 2018 (FAPESP, file no. 2018/03534-0). Finally, he collaborated on a long-term grant awarded to Professor Taran Grant (USP) by FAPESP (file no. 2018/15425-0), initiated in July 2019.