Bioinformatics and Computational Biology of Gene Regulation

photo of genome chart.

Students will participate in a USDA-funded project to identify and characterize gene regulatory sequences throughout the genomes of 50 or more insects of agricultural and biomedical importance.

Project description

Our laboratory studies gene regulation and genome evolution using a mixture of computational and experimental methods. We are interested in motivated students who are comfortable using command-line based software running on Linux and working with large data sets. While extensive coding skills are not required, minimal coding ability in Python, R, or a similar language is preferable. Students will participate in a USDA-funded project to identify and characterize gene regulatory sequences throughout the genomes of 50 or more insects of agricultural and biomedical importance, helping to develop and use computational approaches to discover, describe, and disseminate information about these important genomic elements.

Project outcome

The specific outcomes of this project will be identified by the faculty mentor at the beginning of your collaboration. 

Project details

Timing, eligibility and other details
Length of commitment Semester or longer; longer commitments preferred
Start time Anytime
Level of collaboration Individual student project
Benefits Academic Credit, Volunteer
Who is eligible Students with basic command-line Linux skills and familiarity with R or Python. Interest/background in genetics/genomics preferred.
Goldwater and the National Science Foundation

Students participating in this project might be interested in and eligible for the Goldwater Scholarship and the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. Connect with the Office of Fellowships and Scholarships to learn more.

Project mentor

Marc Halfon

Professor

Biochemistry

B3-307 COEBLS, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

Phone: (716) 829-3126

Email: mshalfon@buffalo.edu

Start the project

  1. Email the project mentor using the contact information above to express your interest and get approval to work on the project. (Here are helpful tips on how to contact a project mentor.)
  2. After you receive approval from the mentor to start this project, click the button to start the digital badge. (Learn more about ELN's digital badge options.) 
Fulfilling Academic Major/Minor Requirements

If you are planning to use this project to satisfy program requirements for your academic major or minor, it is your responsibility to obtain approval from your academic department prior to beginning the project. 

Preparation activities

Once you begin the digital badge series, you will have access to all the necessary activities and instructions. Your mentor has indicated they would like you to also complete the specific preparation activities below. Please reference this when you get to Step 2 of the Preparation Phase. 

  • Students should demonstrate comfort with the Unix/Linux command line and familiarity in simple coding skills, preferably using Python or R. If students have not completed CSE115/116, proof of necessary skills should be provided. 
  • Interested students should review the attached paper. If the methods described therein appear too difficult, this will not be an appropriate project. It is OK if not all of the scientific details make sense, as long as the methods fall within the student's skill set.