My name is Diana Lin, and I’m a second-year graduate student at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, BC. In July 2019, I started my Master of Science in Bioinformatics. In 2018, I finished my Bachelor of Science in Physiology at McGill University. Following my graduation, I completed an 8-month internship here at the Bioinformatics Technology Lab.
For my Master’s thesis project, I’ve been working on developing and executing a scalable bioinformatics-based discovery platform to conduct data mining for anti-microbial peptide (AMP) precursor sequences in publicly available genomic resources. These genomic resources include various tissue transcriptomes from a broad selection of amphibians (frogs and amphibians) and insects (ants, bees and wasps). In addition to the platform, I am also developing analysis pipelines to characterize AMP sequences, and prioritize predictions for downstream applications. Downstream applications include the synthesis of these AMPs and testing of their bioactivity levels against various microbes and suitability for drug development.
Since starting my 8-month internship here (and continuing into my graduate studies), I have been working on the AMP project, where I have been using homology-based search methods to datamine for AMP sequences in the spruce genomes of White spruce, Sitka spruce, and Interior spruce (and eventually Engelmann spruce). My focus (so far) has been on a certain class of AMPs: defensins. Recently, I have been analyzing differentially expressed genes in the Sitka and Interior spruce transcriptomes, in particular, looking for AMP sequences and associated sequences in its activation pathway.
In addition to the AMP project, I have been learning how to use bioinformatics tools in genome assembly and annotation, as a part of the Spruce-Up project. Using these new skills, I assembled and annotated the Engelmann spruce chloroplast genome, the white pine weevil mitochondrial genome, and annotated the White spruce chloroplast genome.
Master of Science, Bioinformatics, University of British Columbia, 2019-2021 (in progress)
Bachelor of Science, Physiology, McGill University, 2014-2018