J. “Robert” Michael, PhD, is Chief Data Architect for the National Center for Computational Sciences (NCCS) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). In this role, Dr. Michael supports the development, refinement, and architecture of strategies to overcome challenges encountered in data-intensive computing across many NCCS programs. Along with identifying cutting edge and innovate solutions to the NCCS’s data science challenges, he acts as a customer facing subject matter expert in the areas of data engineering, data architecture, and resource utilization to ensure that NCCS resources are being efficiently utilized to support a wide range of scientific applications and systems, including those in the protected data space.

Prior to joining ORNL, Dr. Michael spent more than five years at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in various roles including High Performance Computing (HPC) Specialist, Sr. Software Engineer, and Manager of Bioinformatics Software Development and Operations. During his tenure at St. Jude, he solved a variety of technical challenges related to HPC scheduling of I/O intensive workloads, designed and implemented user education seminars and outreach programs, and led the design of software and hardware infrastructure to support large scale automated Bioinformatics pipelines for hybrid HPC / Cloud computing environments.

Dr. Michael received a BS in Mathematics, MS in Mathematics, MS in Computer Science, and PhD in Computational Science with an emphasis in Physics, focusing on the mathematical modeling of the dynamic electron density via computational simulations. During his graduate work, he taught Math at the undergraduate level for several years and currently enjoys spending time with his wife and two children when he is not at work.


Middle Tennessee State University
Computational Science
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Middle Tennessee State University
Computer Science
Master of Science (M.S.)
Middle Tennessee State University
Master of Science (M.S.)
Union University
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


McLeod, C., A. M. Gout, X. Zhou, A. Thrasher, D. Rahbarinia, S. W. Brady, M. Macias, et al. "St. Jude Cloud-a Pediatric Cancer Genomic Data Sharing Ecosystem." [In eng]. Cancer Discov (Jan 6 2021).
Tian, Liqing, Yongjin Li, Michael N. Edmonson, Xin Zhou, Scott Newman, Clay McLeod, and Andrew Thrasher et al. 2020. "CICERO: A Versatile Method For Detecting Complex And Diverse Driver Fusions Using Cancer RNA Sequencing Data". Genome Biology 21 (1). doi:10.1186/s13059-020-02043-x.
Ferrolino, Mylene C., Diana M. Mitrea, J. Robert Michael, and Richard W. Kriwacki. 2018. "Compositional Adaptability In NPM1-SURF6 Scaffolding Networks Enabled By Dynamic Switching Of Phase Separation Mechanisms". Nature Communications 9 (1). doi:10.1038/s41467-018-07530-1.
Michael, J. Robert, and Tibor Koritsanszky. 2017. "On The Error In The Nucleus-Centered Multipolar Expansion Of Molecular Electron Density And Its Topology: A Direct-Space Computational Study". The Journal Of Chemical Physics 146 (20): 204105. doi:10.1063/1.4983633.
Michael, J. Robert, and Anatoliy Volkov. 2015. "Density- And Wavefunction-Normalized Cartesian Spherical Harmonics Forl≤ 20". Acta Crystallographica Section A Foundations And Advances 71 (2): 245-249. doi:10.1107/s2053273314024838.
Michael, J. Robert, and Tibor Koritsanszky. 2015. "Computational Analysis Of Thermal-Motion Effects On The Topological Properties Of The Electron Density". Acta Crystallographica Section A Foundations And Advances 71 (2): 225-234. doi:10.1107/s2053273315001199.