David Christian Danko
MIT EECS Undergraduate Research and Innovation Scholar
Autism, Beyond the Genome
Bonnie A. Berger
The human genome, the 3 billion base pairs that define who each of us are, is just one of many in our body. Every person has a host of bacteria which perform basic metabolic functions. Each of these bacteria have their own genomes which determines their characteristics just as our genome does. Autism Spectrum Disorders are often associated with differences in the function of these bacteria but these differences are currently not well understood. My project aims to develop computational techniques to characterize these differences, helping to shed light on a poorly understood portion of a complex disease.
Having worked with the Berger Lab for a year now I’ve been exposed to a number of research projects related to Computational Biology. Coursework in Computer Science and Biology has helped me to understand the basic science behind these projects. Working in a lab has helped me to develop an appreciation for the degree of rigor even a seemingly simple project can require.