Shannon Barry NSF Graduate Fellow
Thesis Title:
Sequencing and annotation of a Bacillus anthracis bacteriophage genome.

Research Advisor:
Dr. Michael Thomas

Teacher Partner:
Mikelle Andersen

Degree Sought:
Master of Science

University Department and/or Lab:
Biological Sciences

Description of Research:
I am interested overall in using computational bioinformatics techniques to study biological questions. I am currently studying the genome of a bacteriophage that parasitizes Bacillus anthracis (anthrax) bacteria. After determining the DNA sequence of the SBP8a bacteriophage genome, various computer programs will be used to determine where genes are located within the genome, and what type of genes they are. With that sequence information, I will use bioinformatics techniques to place SBP8a genes into an evolutionary context by comparing the genes of this genome to those of other bacteriophage genomes.

One example of how you integrate your research into your GK-12 experience:
I believe that one of the most important things in science is interdisciplinary research. I received my Bachelor's degree in math, and I have used my interest in mathematical patterns with my current graduate research. Although my studies are technically in the field of biology, my project would be impossible without the use of various concepts in physics and chemistry, computer science, as well as patterns and algorithms based in mathematics. I hope to give students in the physical science and geometry classes some insight into the many ways that concepts they are learning in their textbooks are actually used in the real world, and to give them examples of how science and math complement one other.

Profile date: January 2009


Shannon Barry