Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Ayesha Mahfuz L&S Math & Physical Sciences

AncestralClust: Designing Probes for Target DNA capture

My research project as a SURF fellow focuses on developing innovative DNA probes to enhance the capture of targeted genomic sequences. Utilizing our lab’s open-source tool, AncestralClust, I aim to refine and expand the design of probes that can accurately and efficiently target specific regions within genomes such as ITS2 and C01. The latter comprises over 2 million sequences, presenting a complex challenge in bioinformatics. By adjusting various parameters within AncestralClust, such as the number of sequence clusters and the minimum descendants per branch, I strive to optimize probe design to achieve maximal sequence coverage. Our goal is to be able to target as many organisms as possible by optimizing our target probe strategy, so that we can get a comprehensive and unbiased composition of the organisms that make up a sample.

Message To Sponsor

Thank you so much for your generous support of our project! Your contribution not only makes our work possible, but also inspires us to push the boundaries of what we can achieve. We are incredibly grateful for your commitment and look forward to sharing our progress with you.
Profile image of Ayesha Mahfuz
Major: Computer Science, Data Science
Mentor: Rasmus Nielsen
Sponsor: Leadership
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