Statement of Purpose

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Statement of Purpose

My experiences as a software engineer, molecular biologist, and human geneticist have uniquely prepared me for the challenges facing the modern researcher. I received my undergraduate training in basic biology from the University of Utah. The next two years I spent as a software engineer where I learned how to design, develop, and implement software. This experience has allowed me to identify where automation and programming can be harnessed for data-mining and analysis. As a technician in a plant molecular biology laboratory, I learned and developed molecular biology techniques which provided me with the skills needed to create new datasets. During my graduate studies I have learned the ins and outs of human genetics and statistics. It was also the first time I have been able to apply both molecular and computational biology together, and through my experiences I have learned the synergistic nature of these two disciplines.

My long term goal is to start my own laboratory applying cutting edge technology to clinically relevant problems. I plan to use and integrate patient level data into my research when possible to facilitate more direct translation of research from the bench to the bedside. My lab would have both a wet-lab (experimental molecular biology / cell culture / high throughput biology) and a dry lab (bioinformatics / computational biology / software engineering) component. The wet lab component would work with clinicians to produce new patient based datasets and also use model systems or organisms to test out hypotheses generated from computational analyses.  The dry lab component would analyze and integrate all relevant datasets to build models that generate hypotheses that can be tested by the wet lab component, and the dry lab component will also develop new tools that facilitate data integration or analysis. I am also a very interested in ensuring that we integrate with public resources and that we make available our published results in a format that other researchers can use in their own research (e.g. http://mirvestigator.systemsbiology.net/ and http://cmrn.systemsbiology.net/). I am also very passionate and motivated to give back to the academic community by teaching a new generation of scientists. As a scientist I foremost want to ensure the integrity and utility of my research, and will always work with these values at heart.
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