Jeffrey Wang '21 Presents Virtually at International Conference
While the pandemic has shuttered some opportunities this summer, many have gone virtual.
Jeffrey Wang ’21 took advantage of virtual opportunities when he presented his research at the 28th annual Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology (ISMB) conference, held virtually. The conference, originally planned for Montreal, is the flagship conference of the International Society for Computational Biology. It is regarded as the world’s premier annual bioinformatics conference, drawing close to 2,000 participants each year.
Jeffrey gave both a 20-minute verbal presentation and a poster within the conference’s Regulatory and Systems Genomics group, one of about just 20 percent of submitted projects selected for an oral presentation. As the event’s sole high school presenter, his talk drew over 100 scientists ranging from PhDs to professors; afterward, he answered questions and defended his work over Zoom.
His research, which he started last summer at the La Jolla Institute for Immunology (LJI), focuses on the intersection between statistical/computational methods and biological data. “Modern sequencing technology can produce millions to billions of reads at just a few hundred dollars,” he explains, “so a particular genome assay, like whole genome sequencing (the most well-known) or Hi-C (what I focus on), containsgigabytes to terabytes of raw data. My lab focuses on devising new algorithms and software applications that analyze large-scale biological data to draw meaningful conclusions.”
Earlier this year, his work, done through LJI and sponsored by biology teacher Dr. Anthony Pelletier, received one of the Grand Awards and a $2,000 scholarship from the Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair.
The Bishop’s School is an independent, coeducational college-preparatory day school for students in grades six through twelve who live throughout San Diego County. Founded in 1909, the School is affiliated with the Episcopal church.