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Summer Undergraduate Research Project Leads to a Peer-reviewed Publication


During TCNJ’s Mentored Undergraduate Summer Experience (MUSE) 2014, Dr. Dimitris Papamichail worked together with computer science student Nathan Gould (’17) and biology student Oliver Hendy (’15) to study different computer programs that answer biological questions through the use of synthetic genes. Their summer-long efforts have culminated into a peer-reviewed paper that was published in the journal Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology.

Synthetic biology is an interdisciplinary science, promoting the utilization of algorithms to create novel biological systems. By using computer biological models, scientists are able to further gene and protein research in terms of their structure and function and create novel drugs and vaccines. Specifically, Papamichail and his research students are looking into tools that aid the design of synthetic genes. Each tool utilizes different algorithms and provides varying lists of pros and cons.

Hendy and Gould were able to obtain experience researching the various computer programs, but also have their efforts showcased in a published paper. Their publication stems from Papamichail’s current research on improving algorithms for synthetic gene design.

– Danielle Leng

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