Introduction

A brief statement of my research interests and teaching mission follows, and my Curriculum Vitæ (pdf), Research Statement (pdf), and Teaching Statement (pdf) are also available.

For my contact information or additional references, please e-mail don@donarmstrong.com

Research Focus

My primary research focus is developing and using bioinformatics techniques to identify causes and mechanisms underlying human diseases, such as Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). I have identified multiple novel genes associated with SLE using both genome-wide association studies and trio-based studies in targeted regions. In collaborative work, I have identified a causal variant in NCF2 (rs17849502) using both in silico and in vitro approaches. I am currently working on identifying causal variants in additional associated genes using targeted deep sequencing using high-throughput variant analysis pipelines to prioritize variants for additional in silico and in vitro experiments. In the future, utilizing my extensive bioinformatic and software development experience, I will head a development group working on techniques for the storage, alignment, and analysis of terabytes (eventually petabytes) of next-generation sequencing data from collaborations studying human-relevant diseases and biological systems.

Teaching Mission

While teaching, my primary mission is to have my students experience the excitement of scientific discovery for themselves. Secondarily, I use that excitement to keep them engaged and interested in the material. While a graduate student at UC Riverside, I was a teaching assistant for Introductory Biology, Genetics, Molecular Biology, and Developmental Biology