Sami Friedrich

Neuroscientist • Developer • Communication Specialist

Portrait of Sami Friedrich holding a model neuron

Hi, I'm Sami.

I thrive at the intersection of science and technology.

My specialty is discovering and communicating the stories that live within data, science, and the natural world.


I have over 10 years of research experience spanning neuroscience, molecular biology, genomics, and transcriptomics.

  • PhD in Behavioral Neuroscience from Oregon Health and Science University
  • BS in Neurobiology from the University of Texas at Austin


My earliest heroes were Ms. Frizzle and Bill Nye. Their enthusiasm for the scientific method and teaching are inextricably woven into the work I do.

I strongly believe science and information should be accessible, so I approach my work with the intention of simplifying complex ideas into engaging insights and shared understanding.

Interested in learning more? Check out some of my guided workshops, recorded seminars, outreach materials, and coding projects below.


Data science

Every dataset has a story to tell. I have firsthand experience with every stage of the data life cycle - from collection, to cleaning, to analysis, to visualization, and synthesis.

Problem solving

Transforming loosely defined goals or questions into concrete, actionable tasks is one of the most valuable skills I've honed as a researcher and programmer.


Python and R are my playground. Addressing scientific questions, automating repetitive tasks, and building web apps are just a few of the ways I find joy in programming.


I deliver information-rich presentations with a strong intuition for audience-specific communication. I convey ideas clearly with effective speech and visual content.


Whether it's writing grants, peer-reviewed publications, or sensitive emails, I lead with key points and optimize structure for clarity.


I have led technical workshops, designed curriculums for courses and outreach programs, and mentored grade school through college students.

Featured Publications

Graphical abstract outlining Sami's dissertation project
Emergence of sex-specific transcriptomes in a sexually dimorphic brain nucleus

My dissertation work demonstrating that male and female zebra finches express unique sets of genes during the development of a key song region in the brain.

SR Friedrich, AA Nevue, ALP Andrade, TAF Velho, CV Mello. 2022. Aug 2;40(5):111152.

Book cover for Behavioral Biology of Laboratory Animals
Chapter 20: Behavioral Biology of the Zebra Finch

An animal care-oriented text on zebra finch behavior in the wild versus captivity, and how best to support their natural behaviors in research settings.

Friedrich SR & CV Mello. Behavioral Biology of Laboratory Animals. CRC Press. 2021. ISBN 9780367029234.

Microscopy showing gene expression in songbird brain
Exploring the molecular basis of neuronal excitability in a vocal learner

A detailed analysis of genomics and brain gene expression patterns for sodium, calcium, and chloride ion channels in the zebra finch.

Friedrich SR, Lovell PV, Kaser TM, Mello CV. BMC Genomics. 2019 Aug 2; 20(1): 629.

Google Scholar logo
Find more of my publications on Google Scholar


Flowchart showing transformation of HTML to data

From HTML Soup to Tidy Data

A Jupyter Notebook-based workshop I created and instructed on web scraping in Python. Introduces basic HTML concepts, browser dev tools, and the BeautifulSoup package to extract and format data from a real website.

Screenshot of Ensembl Genome Browser

Navigating Genomes Using Ensembl

A quick introduction to some key functionalities of the Ensembl Genome Browser. Learn how to customize the browser with multiple data sources, compare and assess gene models, and query BioMart to create highly customized datasets.

Examples of data visualization improvements using python

Data Visualization in Python

A Jupyter Notebook-based workshop that demonstrates some of the neat ways to explore and display data using matplotlib, seaborn and bokeh. It also introduces building k-nearest neighbors models with scikit-learn.

ShowQuester playlist for a music venue


My #1 passion project. Type in a music venue, and get a curated playlist of songs from artists with upcoming performances. Built using React and Python (Flask).

RShiny plots showing gene expression by group

Gene Explorer

An R Shiny app that takes gene symbols as user input and generates group-wise gene expression plots from RNA-seq data. Flexibly displays data for multiple genes added by the user and generates downloadable PNGs that are publication-ready.

Comparison of gene models before and after sequence recovery

Sequence Recovery

A Python project that extends zebra finch gene models using a comparative genomics approach.

Seven Ways to Stay Curious

Taking the stage as the Student Speaker at my college graduation, I offer seven actionable strategies to nuture curiosity and wonder throughout life. Delivered at the University of Texas College of Natural Sciences Commencement in Dec 2012, these are core principles I continue to live by.

A Day in the Life of a Graduate Researcher

In this video, I share my path to becoming an avian neuroscientist, my day to day as a graduate researcher, and some of the pros and cons of the job. Created for a middle school virtual Career Day in 2021.

Contact Me

Interested in working with me? I'd love to hear from you!