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Speaker

Aaron Mackey
Aaron Mackey is a graduate student under Dr. William Pearson at the University of Virginia, and has significant experience designing databases for scientific and commercial use. His graduate research focuses on observing evolutionary patterns of mutation indicative of positive selection for change, both within single-gene families and between entire bacterial genomes. He holds an M.S. in Immunology (1998) from Washington University in St. Louis.

How did Mackey discover bioinformatics? “During the second year of my Ph.D. program in Immunology at Washington University in St. Louis, I had one credit of coursework left to take before I could become ‘ABD’ (All But Dissertation); not wanting to take ‘Yet Another Molecular Biology Course,’ I instead took Computational Molecular Biology, which at that time (1997) was taught by David States, Sean Eddy, Warren Gish, and Michael Zuker, with guest lectures by Stephen Altschul. Of course, back then I had little idea who these people were, coming from an Immunology background, but needless to say, it was an outstanding class and showed me that it was possible to combine an aptitude for mathematics and computer science with non-theoretical biological research. I was hooked. Later, when I found myself transferring to the U. of Virginia, it was only natural that I should find my way into William Pearson's laboratory to finish my Ph.D.”

Mackey recently published Relational Modeling of Biological Data: Trees and Graphs on O'Reilly Network.

 


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