Calit2 launches prize program to encourage bioinformatics research by UCSD undergraduates

San Diego, CA, February 3, 2005 Inaugurating a new awards program, the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) at the University of California, San Diego will honor undergraduate students whose research in bioinformatics is accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal or conference proceeding. The first two Calit2 Undergraduate Bioinformatics Scholar Awards were announced yesterday at a research symposium on the UCSD campus.

Jacobs School of Engineering computer science senior Robin Friedman was cited for his research on protein sequence analysis; and J. Bradley Kohlenberg from the Chemistry department was honored for research on integrating human genetic and physical maps.

Both bioinformatics majors presented their work at the Feb. 2 symposium in the Center for Molecular Genetics auditorium in front of a crowd of roughly 60 undergraduate, graduate students and faculty. The Calit2-sponsored event showcased opportunities for UCSD undergraduates in bioinformatics research.

"A tremendous number of research opportunities in bioinformatics are available for undergraduate students at UCSD through the Undergraduate Bioinformatics Research Program website," said Computer Science and Engineering assistant professor Eleazar Eskin (see link below), an organizer of the program. "Over 30 projects are listed, and the laboratories are spread all over campus, including research opportunities in Computer Science, Bioengineering, Biology and the School of Medicine."

The Calit2 Undergraduate Bioinformatics Scholar Award will be presented periodically to each undergrad publishing a bioinformatics research paper. The amount of the award will vary to cover the expense of sending the student to the conference where the paper is presented.

Robin Friedman's article, 'Discrete profile alignment via constrained information bottleneck,' was co-authored with Eskin, UCSD graduate student Sean O'Rourke, a

Contact: Doug Ramsey
University of California - San Diego

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