Greetings from ASHG/ICHG 2013

The conference organized by the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) is the International Congress of Human Genetics (ICHG) and is one of the largest of its kind. This year it was held in Boston, MA, and it was great to hear talks about everything genetics, network, and explore a new city.

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This is the view of the company booths in the main exhibition hall of the Convention Center. The thousands of posters are around the edge of the room. This give you an idea about the scale of the event! All throughout the day, there are talks going on simultaneously in 10 rooms, and it would take you 15 minutes to walk from one room to the other, if they were at opposite sides of the building.

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View of downtown Boston when we leave the building.

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The highlight of the week is always the Illumina party. This year, some well-known scientists started dancing on the stage with the singer.

Besides the fun, I learned a lot, and now I feel extra motivated about getting back to research!

About alizrrao

I attended UCLA and majored in Computational and Systems Biology with a specialization in Bioinformatics. I chose the field because it was the perfect way to merge my love for biology, and my other passion: programming. Currently, I am a Bioinformatics Ph.D. candidate at UCLA in Stan Nelson's lab. Our lab sequences the exomes of individuals with rare genetic diseases or complex disorders, in hopes that we can identify the genetic mutations responsible for causing disease. In my research, I collaborate with clinicians and try to identify variants that may contribute to complex diseases such as bipolar disorder and autism. In addition, I look for patterns in the variation found in normal, healthy individuals. Knowing what normal variation looks like will help us determine which variants to filter out when looking for disease-causing variants. Outside the lab, I spend much of my time doing DIY projects around the house or going outdoors, jogging, hiking, or backacking. I dabble in various genres of dance, and love to travel all over the world. I hope that by contributing to Talking Genomes, I can be of help to those trying to enter the field of bioinformatics. It’s such a new and rapidly growing field, that I meet many who have heard of it want to learn more, but have no idea where to start. Here, I hope I can offer some insight to those readers, as well as share interesting experiences from the life of a Bioinformatics Ph.D. student.

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