BCF Staff

BCF staff is well versed in web and mobile device application development, scientific data analysis, database development, and Linux/Windows server deployment with mid-scale data storage solutions. We can assist with grant writing and support letters as well.

  • Nirav Merchant

    http://bcf.arl.arizona.edu/sites/default/files/tile.jpgNirav Merchant is the Director for BCF. His research involves addressing challenges in data lifecycle management (DLM). Primary emphasis of his recent work has been on developing infrastructure and tools for enabling data driven collaboration for geographically distributed virtual organizations (VO) that require high throughput, large-scale data handling capabilities. His research interest includes process automation, scalable and pervasive computing with application for mHealth (Mobile Health).

    He has served as key technology strategists for national and international projects with over two decades of productive collaborations in the biomedical arena.


  • Susan Miller

    Susan is Deputy Director for Research Cyberinfrastructure for Arizona Research Laboratories. Her experience includes data analysis, High Performance Computing, conducting Computing Workshops for Scientists, and collaborations with CyVerse, AGAVE, UAMap, and Space Objects Behavioral Sciences projects. Susan has completed HIPAA training and participated in the 2016-2017 cohort of the UA IT Leadership Academy. Susan also serves on the UA Research Computing Governance Committee and several related subcommittees.

    Susan earned a M.S. in Computer Science from UA in 1983 and a B.S. in Molecular & Cellular Biology in 2002. Her other interests include public speaking, writing, and cat rescue. She is a member of the UA Biosciences Toastmasters club. With Nirav Merchant, she has co-authored a chapter on Bioinformatics Programming in David Mount's Bioinformatics text book.

  • Jim Davis

    BCF provides a wide range of professional system administration services to our partners, and Jim is Manager of Infrastructure Services. BCF works with collaborators’ requirements to find cost-effective computer equipment for storing data, computations, and desktop use; either with vendors like Dell, HP, and Thinkmate or building low-cost servers ourselves. Jim and staff can help you navigate University purchasing requirements and follow up with vendors if your equipment needs repair. Servers can be sited in one of our two secure machine rooms, or in your own facility.

    BCF staff can install and upgrade Linux, Windows or Apple operating systems and monitor system and network performance. We have extensive experience with web servers and database systems and installing software for the life sciences. We can back up instruments, desktops, or servers to local disk or cloud. We can configure systems to meet project and University security requirements, and fix security problems if there is a break-in.

  • Hagan Franks

    As BCF’s Manager of Software Engineering, Hagan oversees many mobile health projects developed by BCF, including Arizona Smoker’s Helpline (ASHLine 2.0), Kidenga Disease Tracking app, ADAPT Study of Occupational Transitions & Behavior, eLEAS electronic psychiatric testing, MiVida Saludable (MiVS) Latina breast cancer survivors project with Columbia University, Aerobic Exercise and Asthma study, and LIvES call center and relationship management VoIP web application with SMS texting capabilities optimized for behavioral research.

    Hagan earned a B.S. in Computer Science from UA. He is an excellent liaison between collaborators and BCF staff & student employees, providing strategic management of timelines and priorities. Hagan has extensive software development experience and is well versed in modern software platforms used in web and mobile application development.

  • Nick Eddy

    Nick has served as the telephony expert for the Arizona Smoker’s Helpline (ASHLine 2.0) project. He is well versed in writing code to utilize Twilio phone services such as voice recording and statistics gathering. Nick has also implemented online interfaces for UAGC clinical genetic tests such as Fragile-X and prosigna breast cancer panel. Nick is interested in machine learning techniques such as Tensorflow for image recognition.

    Nick studied Computer Science at UA from 2008-2012.


  • Muhammad Noon

    Scientists are challenged by ever growing quantities of data that require analyses beyond the capabilities of desktop or laptop computers. Present day DNA sequencing instruments such as Illumina HiSeq generate hundreds of gigabytes of data in a short time. Muhammad earned a M.S. in Bioinformatics from Johns Hopkins in 2014 and can help with data trimming, quality checking, mapping, assembly, and comparative analyses. He can collaborate with your group to provide you with data analyses or training you need to get the most out of your NGS data.

    BCF promotes the use the iRODs system for efficient parallel file transfer, and works with UITS Research Computing support to install the latest Life Sciences software and databases on the UA High Performance Computing systems. UA High Performance/HighThroughput (HPC/HTC) Computing systems are research resources for running high memory usage programs, parallel-processing codes, visualization and scientific applications. BCF staff has developed FAQs and sample computing job submission scripts, and we maintain genomic, protein, and DNA sequence databases on the UA HPC/HTC systems. BCF collaborates with research groups on a wide variety of projects. We can help you automate tasks to increase your labs’ efficiency and reduce errors inherent in manual processing of data.

  • Michelle Yung

    Michelle has been the lead developer for the Arizona Smoker’s Helpline (ASHLine 2.0) project, creating web interfaces and surveys for coaches and clients.

    Michelle earned a B.S. in Computer Science from UA in 2015.



  • Alby Chaj

    Alby has been lead developer for the Kidenga Disease Tracker mobile app. She has also implemented online interfaces for UAGC clinical genetic tests such as Genetic Chimerism and Prostate Cancer.

    Alby earned a B.S. in Gender and Women's Studies from UA in 2016.

  • Todd Wickizer

    Todd is well versed in the use of containers such as Docker and Singularity. He has been working on foundations for the Space Objects Behavioral Sciences (SOBS) team.

    Todd earned a B.S. in Computer Science from UA in 2016.