Student Research

Possible Research Projects for Students

  • Bioinformatics project. Project 1--alignment of interspecies mitochondrial amino acid (a.a.) sequences to assess the significance of a.a. changes in cancer residues. Project 2—alignment of mitochondrial rRNA and tRNA sequences to assess the significance of RNA changes in cancer-associated mtDNA sequences. Being an author on a paper is a possibility for the student but not a guarantee.
  • Lab project—use of RT PCR to determine the pattern of ROS (reactive-oxygen species) DNA damage in the mitochondrial chromosome.
  • Statistical analysis—examination of somatic mtDNA mutations from aged, pre-neoplastic tissue

Requirements for student researchers (all directed studies students must have a minimum GPA of 3.0)

  • Bioinformatics project—the student must have had strong grades in Genetics (Biol 3300), and previous computer programming experience. Having taken Bioinformatics (BTEC 4490) is a significant plus.  Having taken Evolution (Biol 3380) is also helpful.
  • Lab project—prior experience with pipetting, PCR and molecular genetics is nice but not necessary. The student must have had Intro to BTEC or Molecular Diagnostics or Forensics.
  • Statistical analysis—Ideal for students in the Master’s of Applied Math and Statistics Program. Cluster Analysis and Discriminate Analysis.

Class Oriented Projects

  • Ideal for Honors student interested in Bioethics—a.) update in gene therapy techniques; having had Developmental Biology is a plus. b.) Cryolife Student—update in cryogenics field—technical aspects, legal requirements of donor tissue, market forces.
  • Ideal for Biology Ed or SALT Student—designing and conducting web-based tutorial for first year genetics students.