2015 Summer Undergraduate REU Program

Virginia Bioinformatics Institute

VBI - Department of Mathematics

Topic 1:

Mathematic Modeling and Integrative Analysis of Epigenetic Heterogeneity - Hehuang (David) Xie

Project Description:

DNA methylation is the most common covalent modification known to occur to DNA in mammalian genomes. During development and cellular differentiation, the establishment of tissue specific patterns of DNA methylation enables cells with the same genetic composition to exhibit distinct phenotypes. In the past few years, great progress has been made in high-throughput sequencing technology and enormous amounts of sequence data have been generated for methylation profiling of various kinds of tissues from diverse species. This study aims to uncover the dynamics of epigenetic heterogeneity during human/mouse brain development.

Topic 2:

Modeling mucosal immune responses - Josep Bassaganya-Riera

Project Description:

Students working on this project will be involved in ongoing computational and mathematical modeling efforts related to The Center for Modeling Immunity to Enteric Pathogens (www.modelingimmunity.org) at the Nutritional Immunology and Molecular Medicine Laboratory (www.nimml.org), a NIAID funded program with the mission of understanding the mechanisms of action underlying immune responses to enteric pathogens. Specifically, the students will be involved in building, calibrating and validating computational models (ODE, SDE, PDE and agent-based) to simulate immunological processes in the context of infectious and immune-mediated diseases.  Students will work in an interdisciplinary group analyzing RNA-seq data, explore the underlying biological implications of the predictions of the model with experimental outcomes, and collaborate with the group to create hypothesis for further testing of the system.