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Jeffrey R. Lapides

Jeffrey R. Lapides, PhD

Adjunct Associate Professor

Department: Microbiology & Immunology

Jeffrey R. Lapides, PhD, is an adjunct associate professor in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology at Drexel University College of Medicine.

Research Overview

My main interest is to design bioinformatic tools to elucidate the role of microorganisms in human disease.

Research Interests

Developing unsupervised stochastic machine learning methods to map high dimensional bioinformatic data to low dimensions for ease of visualization and relating the results to disease phenotypes; focusing on microbiome abundance data from diseased subjects and RNA gene expression data from animals with viral infections


I am using Markov chain Monte Carlo techniques applied to unsupervised latent dirichlet allocation (LDA) methodologies to reduce the dimensionality of bioinformatic data. I use graph theoretic embeddings to visualize the results. I am developing modified LDA approaches to handle the peculiarities of this type of data to enhance convergence and repeatability of the stochastic computations.

For microbiome data, this approach allows me to identify sets of bacteria that may represent interacting ecosystems which are then related to disease phenotypes. I am exploring the possibility that pathogenicity may relate to bacterial interactions in the case of Alzheimer’s disease rather than single pathogens. I am also working with Crohn’s/inflammatory bowel disease and nasopharyngeal microbiome measurements.