Biology Major Research Helps Build Database of Annotated Genes with Transcriptional Start Sites

April 20, 2018
By: Kim Caisse

Worcester State University student Mfouad FarisBiology major MFouad A. Faris ’18 presented his research on transcriptional start sites in Drosophila elegans at the Worcester State University’s Celebration of Scholarship and Creativity on April 18.

The research was part of the Bioinformatics class that he took in the 2017 spring semester.

“Genomic analysis requires genes to be carefully annotated,” Faris wrote in his abstract. “Identifying transcriptional sites is as important as annotating the gene locations.”

“My professor had told me that I would enjoy this class based on the experience he had with me in another course,” he said of Professor of Biology Daron Barnard, Ph.D.

“In this project, we are investigating and providing data to find transcriptional start sites for different annotated genes and submit it so it can be added to a larger database,” Faris said. “After collecting data from everyone who had worked on it, the annotation for the transcriptional start sites will be available for use by other researchers for other purposes.”

“I realized that this class mixed two of my favorite things about science: computers and cell biology,” he added.

Faris is grateful to his faculty advisor for this project, Dr. Barnard. “I can say that the reason I am part of all this is because my professor had made the right call!”

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