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Trainees connect with faculty across disciplines

Education Achievements

Trainees connect with faculty across disciplines

A third outcome has been the connections that the trainees’ have made with faculty from different disciplines. The Core Course draws on faculty with expertise across the main disciplines we are seeking to integrate. Their lectures provide the breadth of coverage needed to provide a foundation. These lectures lead to unanticipated research overlap between the faculty and the trainees’ project. This year, in a lecture on genome assembly given jointly by co-PI Sorin Istrail and his doctoral student Derek Aguiar, we learned that they had worked out details of assembly and haplotype phasing for polyploidy genomes. The plant species studied by this year’s trainees is hexaploid (Spartina alterniflora), and presents challenges for data analysis that is related to the findings of Istrail and Aguiar. The opportunity to relate a research project of the trainees’ conception to specific research questions of the IGERT faculty is an exceptional added value of our training program.