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The Importance Of A Career In Academic Research

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Over the summer over 2017 I had the amazing opportunity to travel all the to the south tip of Texas to Brownsville. The internship program hosted by the school of public health with help from the University of Texas- Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) Medical School gives undergraduate students at the University of Texas at Austin (UT) and UTRGV hands-on experience in public health and sciences that they are interested in. I got paired with Matthew Johnson Ph.D. who is a geneticist working on an Eye Study in Nepal with the goal of identifying genetic linkage factors and additive genetic effects that may contribute to glaucoma. The Jirel Family Cohort that Matt does research with is an extensive database that was started almost 30 years ago…show more content…
The second part of my project consisted of analyzing the data once it we finished data collection on GSP. I worked with Nicholas BlackBurn PhD., a biostatistician, at the UTRGV Medical School for help on how to best analyze my data. Initially I attempted to analyze the data by myself in RStudio but I unfortunately was overwhelmed by the amount of data and the startictics. Nick was very helpful in showing me how to best analyze data such as this. I learned that since the cohort we were using, the Jirel Family Cohort, consisted of members that all were related in some way or had genetic linkage, the sample was not truly random and that normal statistical test would not be sufficient in analyzing the data. I then learned how to use a program called Sequential Oligogenic Linkage Analysis Routines (SOLAR). SOLAR is specifically designed to account for genetic linkage in a given sample. I learned how to create a pedigree file as well as how to create an actual pedigree. A phenotypic file with all the values of interest was then loaded into SOLAR alongside the pedigree. Nick was then able to show me the different commands and statistical tests that we should use to investigate if there is a correlation of GSP with FSG and HbA1c as well as how to investigate the heritability of GSP. I learned what a phenotypic correlation is as well as what an envriomentmetla correlation is and what the
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