Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need Fellowship Program

Date Published: 
Thursday, February 16, 2017

In 2015, UNC Charlotte received funding from the Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need program to provide fellowships to students pursuing the PhD in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology. The purpose of the Department of Education's GAANN program is to provide fellowships through academic departments and programs. The fellowships are awarded to graduate students with excellent records who demonstrate financial need and plan to pursue the highest degree available in their course of study in a field designated as an area of national need.

The Department of Bioinformatics and Genomics at UNC Charlotte has recruited seven Fellows to the program.

Andrew Quitadamo joined the program in January 2016. He is interested in utilizing genomic datasets to better understand the complicated biology of disease. His current projects focus on lung cancer, expression quantitative trait loci, and the impact of large structural variations.  He is working with Dr. Mindy Shi.

David Patton joined the program in January 2016. He is pursuing research in Viral and Bacterial Evolution with Dr. Way Sung.

Rachel Walstead joined the program in January 2016. She is pursuing research in plant genomics with Drs. Jessica Schlueter and Cory Brouwer. Her research includes the sequencing, assembly, and annotation of the hexaploid oat (Avena sativa) genome and the identification of Avena-specific genes.

Chris Singer joined the program in January 2016. He is pursuing research in structural biology with Dr. Donald Jacobs. As part of the BioMolecular Physics Group, he uses computational methods to analyze thermodynamics, mechanical properties, and dynamics of proteins.

Tyler Turner joined the program in August 2016. He is pursuing research rotations in Dr. Way Sung’s lab, working on mutation accumulations in Burkhokderia. He will soon choose a research advisor.

New students Aneeta Uppal and Shelvasha Burkes joined the program in January 2017. Aneeta is in her first lab rotation with Dr. Anthony Fodor. She is currently using machine learning algorithms for supervised classification of genomic data on the human microbiome. Shelvasha is in her first lab rotation with Dr. Jessica Schlueter. She is pursuing research in plant genomics. Her current project is the analysis of broccoli miRNA and its nutritive properties.