Hi, my name is Louis Gil. I’m a senior from the University of Puerto Rico Rio Piedras Campus, Department of Computer Science. This summer thanks to the IBD2k program, I worked in a computational genomics
research project in UPMC Shadyside Hospital as part of the University of Pittsburgh and DBMI program iBRIC with my mentor William LaFramboise. Here I worked in my first sequencing lab, having the first-hand experience of having your data created right next to you is an amazing feeling, it’s like getting bread right out the oven.
I’m working with papillary renal cell carcinomas which are rare form of kidney cancer that have been sub-classified into type 1 (PP1) and Type 2 (PP2) based on phenotypic differences. Here we were tasked to find molecular difference between these two classes. By then comparing these data sets we could later infer a pathway for each type, such that we can then distinguish main drivers and differences of both subclasses. We worked with expression data, CNV’s, SNP’s and indels, and used tools that were all new to me such as Galaxy (VarScan), Nexus, NIH David, Genome Oncology Browser and IPA (Ingenuity). This hands-on approach to all these tools was a great experience and facing hurdles along the way just motivates you to keep going and not make mistakes.
Pittsburgh is a great city filled with amazing and lovely people and every corner seemed to be an adventure. I also attended many conferences and talks where I learned of new technologies like Tetrad, learned about graduate school and how to improve my skills in presenting and overall skills associated to my field. I made great friends and contacts that will help me in the future to become a better person and professional.