Ashok Krishnamurthy is the Director of the Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI) and a Research Professor of Computer Science at UNC-Chapel Hill. He is also the Co-director for Informatics and Data Science (IDSci) at NC TraCS. Krishnamurthy has many years of experience with informatics and data science including data science cyberinfrastructure, medical image analysis, time-series data analysis, machine learning and high performance computing.

He has over 15 years’ experience as both a researcher and an administrator in advancing cutting-edge research in interdisciplinary teams. Krishnamurthy collaborates with researchers in informatics, biomedical and health research, and social sciences to develop projects and programs that leverage the power of data science and scalable computing to solve challenging problems that advance the state-of-the-art. He advises undergraduate and graduate students and mentors post-doctoral scholars and junior investigators. He is also involved in managing and enhancing research partnerships with faculty at UNC-Chapel Hill, Duke University, and North Carolina State University, along with building relationships between RENCI and Triangle area businesses.

Ashok’s research over the years has been funded by NSF, NIH, DoD, DARPA and DOE. Prior to joining RENCI and UNC in 2013, Krishnamurthy was for many years at the Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC) and a faculty member at The Ohio State University. While at OSC, Krishnamurthy played a crucial role in establishing OSC’s successful industrial outreach initiative called Blue Collar Computing. He also helped develop and deploy cyberinfrastructure that allows researchers to easily access and use computing and storage resources at OSC. Krishnamurthy holds PhD and master’s degrees in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Florida and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology.

Joanna (Asia) Mieczkowska is the Director of Strategic Research Operations at RENCI and an Office of the Director (OOD) member. In her role, Asia oversees RENCI’s day-to-day operations, develops and implements the strategy for research operations innovations and growth, and lays the groundwork to establish RENCI as a partner in the theoretical and applied Team Science Domain. She also oversees several RENCI Research and Operational Groups. Additionally, she co-leads several large, multi-institutional, and/or multi-disciplinary sponsored research and coordination projects, providing leadership in program management, outreach and engagement, and workforce development efforts.  

Her previous professional life included K-12 teaching and managing one of UNC-CH’s genetics laboratories, which focused on researching transcription regulation of human and model organisms. She has supported the research in ENCODE and modENCODE projects funded by the National Institutes of Health and continues to deploy her NIH experience to current RENCI projects. Asia holds an MA in literature from the University of Warsaw, Poland, and a postgraduate diploma in Human Resources and Organizational Management from the School of Business and International Finances & International School of Managers in Warsaw, Poland.

Kristi Andrews is the Associate Director of Finance & Research Administration at RENCI. She is responsible for the institute’s day-to-day fiscal management and research administration. This includes accounting, purchasing, travel, effort management and sponsored research administration.  Kristi and her team are responsible for managing all institutional and sponsored research funding. RENCI sponsored research funding comes from a variety of sources, including the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Energy and the Department of Homeland Security. Her team also provides assistance with submission of research proposals, ensuring that the institute remains in compliance with university, state and federal guidelines. In addition to RENCI, Kristi’s team also manages finance and research administration for the UNC Center for Natural Hazards Resilience and the Center for Galapagos Studies.

Brian Blanton is the Director of Earth Data Sciences at RENCI. He is an oceanographer with 20+ years of experience in analysis and simulation of the coastal ocean, high-performance computing, and earth sciences data analytics. His research usually involves applications of the tide, storm surge, and wind wave model ADCIRC for problems on storm surge and tide dynamics, interaction of storm surge and coastal river flooding, and the impacts of climate change and sea level rise on coastal hazards and risks.  He earned a BS (1991) in mathematics from Armstrong State College in Savannah, Georgia, and a PhD (2003) in Marine Sciences from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Chris Bizon is the Director of Data Science and Analytics at RENCI. He leads a team that applies a range of analytical methods including knowledge graphs, machine learning, visual analytics, semantic web-based reasoning, and textual annotation across many domains. He joined RENCI in 2008 as a member of the informatics group, where he worked in the areas of high-throughput sequencing, genomic analysis, and clinical genomics. Prior to joining RENCI, he spent a decade in the private sector working as both a developer and a researcher in the areas of fluid dynamics simulations and the application of machine learning to drug discovery. He holds a BS in Physics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a PhD in Physics from the University of Texas at Austin, where he developed numerical models of nonlinear phenomena including pattern formation in oscillated granular media.

Anirban Mandal is the Interim Director for the Network Research and Infrastructure (NRIG) group at RENCI. He is a computer systems researcher, with primary focus in research at the intersection of distributed systems and scientific computing. At RENCI, he leads several efforts in cyberinfrastructure research in support of science. His research interests lie in the areas of distributed systems, cloud computing, networking, and data-driven scientific workflows. He has a wide ranging expertise in resource provisioning, scheduling, performance analysis, machine learning, and anomaly detection for large scale scientific cyberinfrastructures, next generation networks, and experimental testbeds. He serves as the Associate Director for CI Compass, the NSF Cyberinfrastructure Center of Excellence serving NSF Major and Mid-scale facilities. Prior to joining RENCI, he earned his PhD degree in Computer Science from Rice University in 2006 and a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science & Engineering from IIT Mumbai, India in 2000.

Terrell Russell is the Director of Data Management at RENCI and the Executive Director of the iRODS Consortium. In addition to providing direction and support for Data Management efforts at RENCI, he provides management and oversight of the iRODS Consortium and high-level architecture design. He is interested in distributed systems, metadata, security, and open-source software that accelerates science. Terrell holds a B.S. in Computer Engineering, a BS in Information Technology and Service Organizations, and an MS in Computer Networking from North Carolina State University, and a PhD in Information Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Stephanie Suber is the Director of Communications and Outreach at RENCI, strategically guiding the communications team in managing the brands of RENCI and its multiple projects, overseeing all communications activities, and building relationships with our constituencies, including collaborators, funders, and the media. She also serves as Deputy Director for the NSF-funded South Big Data Innovation Hub (SBDH), a consortium led by RENCI and Georgia Tech focused on data science outreach, education, and engagement.

Matt Watson is a Senior Web Architect at RENCI, leading a small team of web developers to build internal- and external-facing web applications. His work revolves around designing and developing web-based informative and interactive experiences that expose the research and novel scientific work done at RENCI. Matt has a couple Masters degrees from NC State University.

Ross Yannayon is the Director of the Advanced Cyberinfrastructure Support (ACIS) team at RENCI. ACIS supports a wide variety of technologies to deliver key services, systems, and support for projects and operations at RENCI. Ross joined RENCI in June 2022 after serving 8 years as the IT Director at the UNC System Office. He has a background in software development and system administration prior to managing and directing IT operations. Ross’ enterprise data center management experience includes several years at NC DIT, where he was a lead project team member for the build of the state’s Western Data Center. Ross holds a BS in Computer Science and a BS in Mathematics from Penn State University.