When I first arrived at RPI, I decided to declare my major in bioinformatics/molecular biology, a fairly unpopular and less well-known major. My interest in computer programming began at the beginning of high school when I enrolled in various programming classes. Over the years I was able to learn basic HTML, QBASIC, PASCAL, Visual Basic, C++, and Java. I also had the opportunity to take a class in microbiology and biotechnology, which stimulated my interest in biology. Additionally, I participated in biotechnological summer programs at the University of New Hampshire and Boston University. I was looking for a way to combine my interests of computer programming and biology and the bioinformatics program at RPI was an excellent fit.
I began undergraduate research working in the laboratory of Dr. Susan Sharfstein. Our lab focuses on increasing the specific antibody productivity of mammalian cell lines, specifically Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cell lines, to benefit drug and pharmaceutical development. My work involved both performing bench-work in maintaining cell cultures and developing computational approaches to microarray analysis. When I was accepted to the Accelerated B.S./Ph.D. Program, I began a research rotation under Dr. Christopher Bystroff and Dr. Mark Platt, which involved developing a computational approach to mass spectrometry and de novo peptide sequencing. However, when the project was abruptly terminated, I began researching full-time for Dr. Bystroff over the summer. My current research involves improving a previously developed computational algorithm for determining an optimal protein design for use in experimentally synthesizing biosensors. We hope that we will be able to use this stochastic algorithm for use in making the design program compatible in a distributed computing environment.
In addition to research and academics, I am also a member of the RPI Knights of Columbus Council #13635 in which I participate in various religious and community service activities.