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Bioinformatics: Data Integration for Biomonitoring Applications
Title: Principal Scientist
Phone: (617) 852-3067
Phone: (415) 742-2733
To effectively counter Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) we must be able to accurately and sensitively detect the sites of WMD development. While the reagents and byproducts of nuclear activity may be rapidly depleted from environmental sites, those transient perturbations leave a lasting mark on the resident microbial communities by promoting and restricting the growth of different microorganisms. We propose to demonstrate that metagenomic analysis of microbial communities can be used to identify environmental sites that have been exposed to ionizing radiation, radioisotopes, and/or process chemicals associated with nuclear activities. This work will combine the advanced capabilities for characterizing and comparing microbial communities via metagenomic analysis on the One Codex platform, microbiome domain expertise of One Codex scientists, as well as the extensive knowledge and expertise of Zheng Wang, Ph.D. in the biological effects of radiation on microbial populations. Our project will characterize the microbial composition of publicly available environmental samples that have been exposed to nuclear contamination; develop computational models linking genomic characteristics of microbial communities with environmental exposure to nuclear contamination; and demonstrate the technical and computational approach that will support Phase II goals, including application of this diagnostic procedure to other types of microbial communities.
* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *