As the amount of data derived from novel technologies grows at unprecedented rates in genomics, biotech, and biomedicine, life scientists find themselves in need of developing the essential skills of data analysis and bioinformatics.
Such is the case of Dr. Erik Aznauryan, a postdoctoral fellow at Church lab, Wyss Institute in Harvard University. Erik’s research focuses on the development of gene therapies for skin diseases. His work involves both lab experimentation and genomic data analysis. Erik not only wanted to outsource these analyses to other groups but also to acquire the relevant bioinformatics skills himself. That is where the collaboration between Erik and the Armenian Bioinformatics Institute (ABI) sparked.
Now let’s introduce Tatevik Jalatyan. A senior BSc student in Data Sciences (Bioinformatics track) at the American University of Armenia. Tatevik joined ABI in the summer of 2021. After a couple of introductory courses, Tatevik got engaged in Erik’s research. She performs the data analysis part of the project under Dr. Lilit Nersisyan’s supervision at ABI and transfers her skills to Erik. At the same time, Tatevik had the opportunity to start her first exciting research project and learn a lot from Erik.
And it gets even more exciting. Based on the promising start of the project, the ARPA Institute, ABI’s loyal partner, provided Tatevik with a six-month-long research scholarship to fully dedicate her time to science.
To the question about her expectations on the program, Tatevik answered:
“This cooperation is very beneficial, especially for me, as I get to work with a highly skilled professional in the field. I expect that this program will not only enhance my knowledge and skills but will be useful for my mentor and his scientific research as well.”
Erik’s enthusiasm and passion are as strong as Tatevik’s. To the request to share his perspectives on the project, Erik responded:
“For me, the main goal is to learn the foundations of bioinformatics and help Tatevik understand the real-world implementation of the knowledge she is acquiring at ABI. In the long run, the ultimate goal would be to help create a collaborative relationship between the lab I am in now and the ABI, which would allow for more such projects in the future. The primary expectation for this program is to create a mutually beneficial collaboration that would allow for the development of bioinformatics skills on both sides while working on an exciting project that would lead to a significant advancement of the current knowledge.”
The ABI Mentor & Mentee program is a wonderful opportunity for life science postdoctoral researchers around the world to acquire bioinformatics training for their projects. If you are a life scientist, and if you think you can benefit from this initiative, you are welcome to apply with your project.