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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.
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