A warm welcome to Jeff Wintersinger to the lab. Jeff has just completed the third year of his BHSc in Bioinformatics, here at UofC. He’ll be investigating the extent of in silico miss-assembly in parasite genomes and the effect this has on identifying large gene families. The work is an spin-off from the mBio paper. This work on the SRS gene superfamily in Toxoplasma was complicated by very similar and distinct gene sequences being collapsed into one locus by the genome assembly algorithm. The result was either a single representative gene model for four or more in vivo genes, or, sometimes, no gene model. If this has happened for a relatively small and deeply sequenced genome as that of Toxoplasma, then I fear for the larger, more complex helminth genomes. I eagerly await Jeff’s results in August.
Jeff joins Ivan Kryukov as an undergraduate student in the group. Ivan’s staying on from successful winter term projects, one of which was his honours thesis, for which he was awarded an A grade. Ivan will be turning his attention to characterising the Cathepsins in nematode species. He’ll be finally scratching an itch to learn more about phylogenetics.