Alex Samano

Biology Ph.D. Student | Chakraborty Lab | Texas A&M University


I am a second-year Biology Ph.D. student at Texas A&M University. I use bioinformatics, population genomics, and molecular genetic tools to probe the role of structural variation in adaptive evolution.

Research Interests

Adaptive Evolution

Structural Variation


Invasive Species

Education and Professional Experience


Texas A&M University - College Station

Biology Ph.D.

August 2022 - present

Graduate student in the lab of Dr. Mahul Chakraborty. My current project involves identifying SVs in geographically diverse Drosophila melanogaster genomes with the goal of understanding how repetitive genomic elements contribute to adaptive evolution.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Bachelor of Science in Biology

Minor in Chemistry and Computer Science

August 2016 - May 2020

Undergraduate Researcher with Dr. Christopher Willett's lab studying evolutionary genetics of speciation. Worked with bioinformatic programs to analyze the genome of a copepod species, Tigriopus californicus.

Professional Experience

Genomics Lab Supervisor

Mako Medical Laboratories, Henderson, North Carolina

January - July 2022
  • Supervisor for 1st Shift scientists conducting clinical laboratory testing for SARS-CoV-2.
Molecular Lab Scientist I

Mako Medical Laboratories, Henderson, North Carolina

July 2020 - January 2022
  • Trained and certified in all major steps of processing COVID-19 samples: Extraction of RNA from swab samples, setting up and performing qPCR experiments, and analysis of gene expression from qPCR results to identify the presence of SARS-Cov-2 and variants.


Fly brain with GFP expression driven by a putative enhancer region in Insulin Receptor.


Check out my lab's website here or reach out to me for details if you are interested in participating in research! I enjoy mentoring undergraduates who want to get research experience in genetics, evolution, and bioinformatics.