ESR01 – Aravind Sankar – based in Cambridge

Project Title: The prioritisation and functional validation of genetic variants that contribute to melanomagenesis.

As a computer science student in school, I was interested in studying the applications of computers in addressing real-world problems, especially biological ones. This led me to pursue my Bachelor’s degree in Bioinformatics at SASTRA University, India. During this period, I got the opportunity to complete my final year project at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany where I worked on the development of web-based platforms used for storing and visualizing experimental microscopy assays. To further refine my understanding of the field , I did my Master’s degree in Bioinformatics at the University of Helsinki, Finland. Concurrently, I worked for a year and a half at the Helsinki Institute for Information Technology as a research assistant. My work involved the design, development and evaluation of a bioinformatics method used to identify bacterial strains in a mixed sample and estimate their individual abundances. The experience I got during this project, which eventually became my thesis, reaffirmed my interest in pursuing a career in bioinformatics research, with a graduate degree being the natural next step in the process.

When I am not working, I like to relax by reading books, playing football and quizzing. I also like to travel extensively whenever possible.