About Korf Lab

Sam Westreich

IGG Graduate Student


Originally from Minnesota, I earned my B.S. in Genetics and Cellular Development from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. I graduated with honors, writing a review of vitamins and their role in life extension for my senior thesis. After taking a year off to help the underprivileged as an AmeriCorps member serving with Habitat for Humanity, I applied to the Genetics graduate program at UC Davis and was accepted into the Integrative Genetics and Genomics (IGG) graduate group. Now in my first year as a PhD student at UC Davis, I am working under Ian Korf and Danielle Lemay at the Genome Center.

Research Interests

By the numbers, our bodies are comprised mostly of bacteria. To study these bacteria as a single, interconnected unit, the field of metagenomics creates a DNA profile across multiple species. Now, the new field of metatranscriptomics is taking that idea one step further, using RNA sequencing to generate expression profiles across an entire microbiome.

Analysis of metatranscriptomic data is still in the early stages, with very few programs capable of fully handling these large and complex data sets. I am working to assemble a complete and optimized pipeline for handling this data, capable of providing both abundance counts and differential expression profiles. I hope to apply this pipeline to analysis of the human gut microbiome, shining new light into the link between what we eat and our digestive health.


  • Ratcliff WC., Raney A, Westreich ST, Cotner S. 2014. A novel laboratory activity for teaching about the evolution of multicellularity. The American Biology Teacher, Vol. 76 Num.2, pp 81-87, February 2014
  • Poster, Lemay DG, Beck K, Hartono SR, Porter MD, Silva PI, Westreich ST, Bradnam KR, Korf I. "Milk Science @ UC Davis Genome Center." 3rd Annual Genome Center Symposium. 30 October 2013
  • Poster, Driscoll S, Falksen J, Hupalo S, Johnson A, Leitzman P, Leonard K, Levine E, Westreich ST. "Transfer of C17 cold resistance gene into tomatoes." University of Minnesota Undergraduate Symposium. 18 April 2009.

Contact info:

stwestreich at u c d a v i s dot edu

About Korf Lab

Korf Lab in the news

Jun 26, 2015: Keith Bradnam is interviewed by Frontline Genomics Magazine about his life in Bioinformatics.

Apr 8, 2015: Ian Korf is quoted in a Nature commentary article about Bioinformatics Service cores and the need for beter career paths for bioinformaticians.

Mar 16, 2015: Danielle Lemay is interviewed by the UC Davis News team about the new publication by herself, Kristen Beck (lead author), Ian Korf and others that describes new milk proteomes for human and macaque.

Apr 22, 2013: The Assemblathon 2 paper has won the 2013 BioMed Central Open Data award

Dec 10, 2013: A short piece in the UC Davis Alumni Magazine that discusses the new Genomics undergraduate major that Ian Korf co-developed.

Nov 26, 2013: Ian Korf writes a News & Views piece for Nature Methods about two new comparisons of programs that work with RNA-seq data

Nov 1, 2013: Keith B. and Kristen are both featured in a piece on Inquiring Minds as part of the new One UC Davis campaign.

More news

Contact Us

For questions or comments about the website, please e-mail:

korflab AT ucdavis DOT edu

Contact information for specific members of our lab can be found on their personal pages.