Hi, I’m Cavan and welcome to my Senior Project.
My project studies some neat applications of bioinformatic methods to the epidemiology of infectious diseases. Basically, I am curious about how small point variations on high-leverage genes in similar strands of a pathogen can be used to determine regional variation and adaptation. The applications of this tremendous: we only need a small sample of a particular strain a contagion to effectively gauge its risk to a particular area.
My work focuses specifically on the P-Vivax strain of Malaria. It functionally consists of a two-stage process of first rigorously demonstrating correlation between small variations in the coding of malaria strands and joining a team to (hopefully) create a test to isolate these small differences from the whole malaria genome. In this effort, I will be working on a joint project between the NIH and WHO under the direct instruction of Dr. Alvaro Molina-Cruz.
I am very excited to start working, and I particularly appreciate the opportunity to relay my work and experience outwards. These earliest weeks will primarily consist of background reading for the background work which will in turn get me into the lab. Therefore, my first posts will mostly discuss the theoretical basis for my project; I will try to make this part (and the rest) as captivating as possible.