The code of life, a life in code

The science we do

We are a mostly “dry-bench” or computer-based laboratory studying the evolution of the molecular components of cells. Biophysics and biochemistry underlies all molecular processes in the cell, but only some molecules can contain information that is subject to heritable  change over deep timescales. These are semantic polymers such as nucleic acids and proteins. Our long-term research goals are aimed at a more biophysically-grounded understanding of this molecular evolution in the cell.

Computational molecular evolution ?

Molecular evolution is exactly what it sounds like, the study of evolutionary processes at the level of molecules. Like Dr. Who, we use modern technology to become travelers in time.

We start with comparisons of DNA sequence data, identify mutations and their impacts on genomic processes, and search for broad patterns.

The Molecular Evolution lab group consists mainly of students in the Bioinformatics or Biotechnology Programs within the RIT College of Science (COS) and other colleges at RIT (Computing Science and Biomedical Engineering.

Consider Joining Us

Research at this level requires an interest in all the fundamental natural sciences, including biology, chemistry and physics, as well as some skills in mathematics and computer programming.

If you are currently enrolled in any RIT program related to the goals of my lab (biology, chemistry, physics, computer science or biomedical engineering) and you are able to devote at least one year to the development of a computer-based project, please don't hesitate to apply for an interview.

We also do some ecology too

The Ecological Modeling lab group forms periodically to work in collaboration with the lab of Dr. Callie Babbitt (RIT Golisano Institute of Sustainability) researching industrial ecological processes in human systems. We modify traditional ecological modeling techniques, formerly designed for application to natural systems and apply them to human industrial systems, leveraging data collected by industrial ecologists and engineers. We are interested in the behavior of industrial production and waste flows within the context of ecological concepts such as population, life history and community interaction.