Many Franklin and Marshall graduates who focused on bioinformatics during their undergraduate years have continued on to interesting and successful careers in the field. Here we present a few faces from the past and present of Franklin and Marshall’s bioinformatics research:
Matvey Palchuk spent his time at Franklin and Marshall assisting the research of Professors Richard Fluck and Kathleen Triman. Palchuk obtained his medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and currently works as a product manager and a senior medical informatics specialist at Partners HealthCare in Boston, specializing in designing electronic health record (EHR) systems.
While at Franklin and Marshall College, Albert Park focused on the design and implementation of a searchable format for the Ribosomal RNA Mutation Database. The database, curated by Professor Kathleen Triman, contains information about mutations at precise locations in ribosomal RNA. Park went on to earn an advanced degree in bioinformatics at Boston University and is now the Vice President of Bioinformatics at a biotech company called Stemcentrx. His company focuses on discovering next generation targets for the development of cancer therapeutics.
Vivek Abraham conducted his undergraduate research with Professor Richard Fluck at Franklin and Marshall College. His work included tracking the movements of subcellular particles via time-lapse video microscopy. Abraham went on to graduate school, earning a Ph.D. at Carnegie Mellon University. Vivek Abraham now works for the Department of Biological Screening at Abbott in the Global Pharmaceutical Research and Development Division.
Jenna Walck conducted her research at Franklin and Marshall College under the supervision of Ryan Mehl and The Clinic for Special Children. Jenna confronted a genetic problem known as a GM3 synthase mutation, which prevents the body from producing gangliosides, molecules important for communication between cells in developing brains. Walck is now at the Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania.
Steve Loscalzo was another major contributor to the GM3 synthase mutation under the direction of Ryan Mehl and The Clinic for Special Children. Steve is now at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School.
Corynne Mulcahy '04 completed a summer project, funded by the Morris Animal Foundation, while completing her veterinary medical education at Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in Massachusetts. Her study aimed to clone a cDNA library from black rhinoceros RNA in order to develop additional microsatellite markers (EST-SSR's) for studying genetic diversity in these endangered animals. Corynne was fortunate to travel to Kenya to collect samples from wild black rhinos as a part of this project in collaboration with Kenya Wildlife Service.