My time at the NIH

Recently, I completed my internship at the NIH. I really enjoyed my work there, as I got an introduction to data science, bioinformatics and developed a lot of practical skills developing software for non-programmers.

I had two jobs during my internship. My first job involved examining transcription factor binding sites of various genes in the human genome. We then did various statistical analyses on the sequences between clusters of TFBSs, mainly to see how the location of TFBSs were related to the regulation of protein production. Unfortunately, we only found a weak correlation with cluster distances, but we did confirm the results of similar experiments. A paper will be published on our findings, and I will be listed as a co-author.

I unexpectedly finished the first job in early June, so I was given a second job as working with Dr. Miledy Delgado. My second job involved working with variations of HIV across species, primarily the african green monkeys. Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV), but do not develop SAIDS. It was believed that the monkeys have some sort of protection that co-evolved with SIV, and we wanted to discover which proteins might bestow protection. I was tasked with comparing human and african green monkeys proteomes, and finding proteins that the monkeys had but had no counterpart in humans(non-homologous). The software will later be used to compare the proteomes of other monkey species and humans.

Overall, I enjoyed my work there. I appreciate my PI, Dr. John Spouge giving me tasks that were important and teaching me about good statistical work. Living in Washington DC for a while was fun, though I doubt I would want to live there. I visited all of the smithsonian museums, Congress, the Washington monument, and more. I hope that I get to work in the biotechnology field again.

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