LIFE AFTER GRAD SCHOOL SEMINAR
Bringing the Cosmos to the DNA: Navigating Bioinformatics as a Physicist
The 21st century has brought about a technological revolution that is allowing biologists to collect an ongoing avalanche of data. While there is no shortage of data, most researchers recognize that there is a shortage of new techniques to analyze and assimilate the data into coherent models. "Bioinformatics" has emerged as a new field that addresses this challenge. In this talk, I'll describe how the skills I honed as an astrophysicist, twists of fate, and curiosity have led to my transition into bioinformatics after doing a Ph.D. in physics and a postdoc in astrophysics. I will then present examples of a fundamentally new analysis of DNA sequence data based on statistics originally developed by cosmologists, and conclude with a short discussion of how these results may be used to understand disease or to unravel the processes of evolution.