Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Graduate Student Organization (BCBGSO)

Students in the BCB Graduate program can participate in the BCBGSO and BCBLab. This student-led group gathers students in the program to help increase research collaborations and social interactions. Outreach by the BCBGSO has taken many forms. Most recently, members have participated in outreach activities with high school and grade school aged children to help them learn about bioinformatics. Members have also organized an annual symposium focusing on current topics in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology. Alums of the program are invited to speak at the symposiums as well as other external speakers who have contributed to our discipline. Unix and Python workshops and other activities put on by the BCBGSO have enriched collaborations at ISU and elsewhere ! Another outreach effort of the BCBGSO is the BCBLab which provides a consulting experience for participants as they help life science researchers on campus integrate Big Data techniques and analysis into research projects. By working together to apply computational and bioinformatics solutions to biological problems through the BCBLab, our student body has created a vibrant learning community where they contribute to and learn from one another. Those who participate learn from the exchange of experience, knowledge, and resources with one another while making substantial contributions to on-going research efforts. Past BCBLab projects have ranged from porting legacy Fortran applications to PHP/MySQL, to structure determination and microarray analysis. The BCBLab helped create the, a web portal for mosquito surveillance information, 1969 to present. More recently, and importantly, a member of the BCBLab worked on TAL effector mediated genome editing in the course of a BCBLab project. This research was foundational to CRiSPR and the evolution of genome engineering ! Recent graduates from the program have highlighted such consulting experiences on their resumes to their benefit.