Meet the Lab

John Pestian PhD, MBAJohn Pestian, PhD is a Professor of Pediatrics with a joint appointment in Computer Science. Dr. Pestian is the Director, Computational Medicine Center and was the founding director of the division of Biomedical Informatics at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. He has numerous grants, publications, and patents. All of them focus on how to use complex information in a clinical setting.


Brain Connolly PhDBrian Connolly obtained his PhD in high energy particle physics in 2002. His thesis work, performed at the then highest energy particle collider in the world (the Tevatron), had to do with developing advanced statistical and computational techniques for measuring the mass of a newly discovered sub-atomic particle, the top quark.

After graduating Dr. Connolly embarked on a number of successful data analysis projects at Columbia University and the University of Pennsylvania. His work covered a wide range of topics, from developing sequential analysis techniques for estimating optimal sample data sizes to pioneering the use of graph theory methods for establishing evolutionary trends in merging galaxies.

In recent years, his research has become increasingly multi-disciplinary, as he applied his statistical and computational techniques to fields other than physics and astrophysics: for example, he performed a number of successful investigations in the fields of archaeology, finding trends in the development of lithic technology; and biology, analyzing microarray data in novel ways.

In 2013, as a research fellow at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Dr. Connolly took on his biggest data analysis challenge yet: data mining natural language. He is currently developing computational algorithms to understand clinical interpretations of epilepsy and neuropsychiatric notes.

Bob FaistBob Faist is a software developer focused on developing web applications for medical research.


Benjamin GlassBen Glass is an Application Developer at the Pestian Lab whose work includes extracting natural language data from Cincinnati Children's electronic health record for use in various studies.  He holds a Master's degree in Language Technology and a Bachelor's in Linguistics.

Lesley Rohlfs MSLesley Rohlfs is the Project Management Specialist for the Pestian Lab. Her education includes a Masters of Science degree in Counseling and Human Behavior. She brings 5 years of experience as a Mental Health Specialist in Pediatric Psychiatry here at Cincinnati Children’s. Within her role has a Mental Health Specialist she was involved in improvement projects and was a Children’s Point of Scholar in 2012 conducting research in the field of trauma informed care for the reduction of restraint and seclusion in inpatient pediatric psychiatric units.


Sheila WolferSheila has an Associate Degree in Computer Programming and Database Management. She currently works as a Data Coordinator on the Childhood Absence Epilepsy (CAE) study. Sheila is primarily responsible for database development and maintenance, writing rules in XML for validation of data entry and data entry. Her duties also include collaborating with data quality manager to ensure data consistency/quality and providing datasets to statisticians for exportation of data for analysis.