Undergraduate research training is a significant component of my work. Since 2018, several undergraduates have worked with me on a variety of computational projects.
- Samuel Fay
- Benjamin Romanjenko (Botany PhD Program, University of Wyoming)
- Cailin Deiter (Genetics PhD Program, Univ. of Colorado)
- Jelard Aquino (PhD Candidate in Bioinformatics at University of Nevada, LV)
- Asia Williams (Dentistry program at University of Iowa)
Samuel Fay worked with me during Summer 2020 and developed code for genomic data analysis. He is majoring in Computer Science at University of Michigan, but was making productive use of his downtime away from school due to the pandemic. Sam is involved in the following projects:
CRISPR CRUNCHERA tool useful in identifying restriction sites upstream of the genome editing site using CRISPER-Cas9. This project was originally conceived by David Fay, a molecular biologist at University of Wyoming. crisprcruncher.io
Benjamin is a currently a junior undergraduate majoring in Microbiology. During 2019 he worked on my poplar project and was instrumental in the collection of leaf samples for DNA analysis. He simultaneously developed skills in bioinformatics data analysis while working on the poplar project. Ben was supported by an INBRE summer fellowship for his work with me. Benjamin is currently a Wyoming Research Scholar and expects to graduate in 2021.
Cailin graduated in Spring 2019 with Neuroscience major and worked primarily with Dr. Jonathan Fox. Her project involved computationally searching for infectious viruses within the transcriptomes of deceased host animals such as dogs and horses. She is currently employed as a Professional Research Assistant at UC Denver Diabetics Research Center. Cailin aspires for a career in human genetics and is now preparing to apply to those PhD programs for a Fall 2021 start.
Jelard graduated with a Physiology major in Spring 2019. He held a transition scholarship from Wyoming INBRE and the McNair scholarship. Jelard completed a bioinformatics research project with me that involved analyzing RNAseq data from published studies to gain a greater insight into the data using newly developed computational tools.
During early 2019, Jelard was awarded a Smithsonian internship to work on speciation genomics of butterflies at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. After his stint at the Smithsonian, he worked with Dr. Mira Han on estimating rates of INDEL substitutions in human genome at University of Nevada. In Fall 2020, Jelard started a bioinformatics track PhD program under Mira’s supervision at UNLV. I currently serve on Jelard’s advisory committee as an external advisor.
Asia worked on analyzing a National Immunization data set obtained from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to understand the immunization statistics within in the lower 48 states. She leveraged her knowledge of the R programming language to understand the patterns of immunization across various age groups using this data. Asia graduated in fall 2018 and is currently working as a dentist’s assitant. She was accepted to University of Iowa Dental Professional School with full scholarship and has recently joined that program (Fall 2020).