Faculty members from several different universities across Alabama recently met for a two-day training workshop at the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology last month to learn how to develop bioinformatics-based research projects for their students.
Characterizing Our DNA Exceptions (CODE) engages undergraduate students in authentic genomic research to sustain STEM interest and participation. Working with HudsonAlpha researchers and educators in coordination with partner schools, students use computational analyses to determine the biological relevance of DNA variants from patient and agricultural samples. CODE projects provide research opportunities to students that do not have access to the type of well-funded research opportunities often available at research institutions by partnering with small colleges and universities for these bioinformatics research projects. The computational projects focus on examining DNA variants in proteins that might impact their typical function. Students use publicly available databases and modeling software to develop a hypothesis about these types of changes in protein sequences. Additional information at https://hudsonalphacode.org/.
Dr. Sara Cline, Athens State University, and Dr. Cynthia Stenger, University of North Alabama, have facilitated CODE projects with their students for several years and assisted with instruction during the workshop.
Attending facilitators were:
- Dr. Daniel Abugri – Alabama State University
- Dr. Alex Kofman – Troy University
- Professor Jared Painter – University of North Alabama
- Dr. Jenna Ridlen – Jacksonville State University
- Dr. Sabita Saldanha – Alabama State University
- Professor Richard Watkins – Jacksonville State University
HudsonAlpha Institute POC:
Michele C. Morris – CODE Director; Workforce Development Lead – Educational Outreach