Kelly Pierce

Kelly Pierce

Research Associate

Scalable Computational Intelligence

Data Intensive Computing

Dr. Kelly Pierce is broadly interested in using data analytics and machine learning tools to address problems in public health. Before joining TACC in 2018, she worked as a data scientist at Myriad Women's Health (formerly Counsyl), where she built statistical models for quality monitoring in a high-throughput, next-generation DNA sequencing laboratory. Kelly previously used machine learning models to forecast disease incidence as an Insight Health Data Science fellow. She also held postdoctoral fellowships to study the population and landscape genetics of sleepy lizard ticks (Flinders University) and chronic wasting disease in mule deer (Colorado State University). She developed software to aid in detection of sequence duplication errors in next-generation DNA sequence data commonly used for population genetic studies. Kelly earned her PhD in Ecology, Evolution and Behavior from The University of Texas at Austin, where she studied the behavioral and genetic determinants of disease risk in ticks.

Areas of Research

  • Data Science, Population Genetics
  • Wildlife Epidemiology
  • Public Health


PhD, Ecology, Evolution and Behavior
The University of Texas at Austin

BS, Biology and Psychology
Truman State University

Selected Publications

Dale Muzzey, Shera Kash, Jillian I. Johnson, Laura M. Melroy, Piotr Kaleta, Kelly A. Pierce, Kaylene Ready, Hyunseok P. Kang & Kevin R. Haas (2018) Software-assisted manual review of clinical next-generation sequencing data: An alternative to routine Sanger sequencing confirmation with equivalent results in >15,000 germline DNA screens. Journal of Molecular Diagnostics, DOI:

Jessica Hacking, Tessa Bradford, Kelly Pierce & Michael Gardner (2018) De novo genotyping of the major histocompatibility complex in an Australian dragon lizard, Ctenophorus decresii, Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia, DOI: