Prospective Graduate Students

Our lab uses computational methods to study cancer. We are interested in mining and modeling cancer tissue omic data for knowledge discovery about non-genetic drivers and associated mechanisms for cancer initiation, progression and metastasis. We are particularly interested in elucidation of major stressors, including hypoxia, oxidative stress, and pH imbalances in the microenvironment. We want to understand how the stressed cells respond to the stresses through metabolic changes, and how the reprogrammed metabolisms relate to cancer development.

We are located at A110, Davison Life Sciences Building, 120 Green Street, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602-7229. Come visit! You can also reach us by phone at 706-542-9779 or through email.

Research experience for undergraduate students

Through the NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program , several undergraduates students had the possibility to discover the field of Bioinformatics and to be specifically involved in projects related to the on-going research in our lab.

These last years, three undergraduate students (Kyle Harris, Everett Todd Jones and Selugi Hong) participated to two REU programs:

  • “A Computational Capability for Fast and Reliable Characterization of Protein Complexes”
  • “Computational Prediction of Biological Networks in Microbes and Applications to Cyanobacteria”

All students taking a research credit course for the semester in our lab will form a research team and work together on research topic that will meaningfully contribute to the work of the CSBL. The undergraduate research team will mainly focus on but not be limited to:

  1. Acquiring basic computational skills and cancer or microbial biology
  2. Learning how to apply computational biology to a research problem
  3. Investigating at least one real research topic each semester

The typical timeline for undergraduate research in the CSBL is as follows:

  1. Four-six lectures to introduce programming skills (3-4 weeks)
  2. Topic selection, question formulation and data preparation (2-4 weeks)
  3. Computation analysis of the first question (1-6 weeks)
  4. Further analysis (1-6 weeks)
  5. Report writing (3-4 weeks)

Research experience for high/middle school teachers

The NSF Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) supplement allows school teachers to participate actively to a current NSF project. It gives an excellent opportunity for teachers to discover the world of Research – and particularly this new branch of Science which is Bioinformatics. Ultimately, the key goal was to bring this knowledge into the classrooms, and help students to broaden their view about biology, genetics and evolution.

In July of 2007, two high-school teachers Kristy Myers and John Schellenberg participated to an RET project entitled “Computational Prediction of Biological Networks for Microbes and Applications to Cyanobacteria”.
Kristy and John followed a series of 5 lectures each covering a special topic of Bioinformatics:

  1. Computers basics and bioinformatics softwares
  2. Genomes, genome structures and visualization
  3. Sequence comparison, BLAST
  4. Sequence similarity and phylogenetic trees
  5. Protein function and function prediction

The research project was to derive the evolutionary history of a set of genes that are known to be expressed in human eyes, from the primitive genomes like bacterial, archaeal and/or virus genomes.

After 8 weeks of studious research, and with the help of many CSBL members, Kristy and John exposed their results in a 30 minute oral presentation. It was stimulating and encouraging to see how Bioinformatics and Modern Biology can be efficiently transmitted from researchers to teachers and their high-school students!

We hope that this program will continue for a number of years!