The National Center for Genome Analysis Support (NCGAS) at Indiana University provides support to the national biological research community with genomic analysis. The team works on many genomic projects, ranging from microbes to plants and animals, and benchmarking genomic software.
Sruthi and Haley worked on one of these genome projects under the team’s guidance. The students ran the readily available pipelines on genomic data - assembling genomes from sequence data and annotating the dataset to understand biological functions. Through this entire process, the NCGAS team supported and helped the students—learning bioinformatics and computation at this level is highly interactive.
The students obtained research experience in handling large amounts of biological data in a High Performance Clusters (HPC) setting, since most of the analysis steps require HPC resources. In addition, they became comfortable working in a LINUX environment as well as running bash commands to process/format datasets. They also had the opportunity to learn R and python.
Once the project was completed, Suthri and Haley were encouraged to submit an abstract to the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) meeting that occurs June 20-24 in San Francisco. Their abstract was accepted.
After receiving the news that their abstract was accepted, both students applied for various travel grants from IU. Sruthi received a Hutton Honors College Travel Award as well as a travel award for Undergraduates from the Office of Engaged Learning. Haley also received a travel award for Undergraduates from the Office of Engaged Learning and a Hudson and Holland Travel Award. Through these scholarships, they managed to cover the costs for almost the entirety of the trip.
CEW&T is proud of Sruthri and Haley for the completion of their project, and of course for the acceptance and attendance to the 2019 ASM meeting.
If you or someone you know is interested in the projects CEW&T is offering for the 2019-2020 academic year, click this link to see detailed descriptions of the proposed projects. Students have until August 1st to apply; no experience necessary.