Mapping the World's Genome: Global Protein Demographics

Christopher Jay van Belle : Molecular and Cell Biology

Mentor: Professor Steven Brenner, Plant and Microbial Biology

As a part of Steven Brenner's lab, Chris will be analyzing a large set of novel sequences extracted from oceanic and other environmental microbes. Using computational methods such as Hidden Markov Model searches, he will compare novel environmental peptides to currently known peptides that are available in public databases like Ensembl, TIGR, and nr. Chris will help identify protein domains that are over- or under-represented in the ocean relative to the public datasets, as well as identify domains that may have crossed kingdom barriers. He will also investigate how these new data change our perception of protein space by, for example, illuminating biases that exist in currently available sequence datasets.