Boston Latin School
A fundamental issue in biomedicine is understanding the relationship among disease states, drug action, and genetic perturbation. Connectivity map (CMap) is a functional look up table that connects drugs and disease states with gene expression profiles. Using this dataset, Annie was interested in determining if there were differences or sub clusters in groups of drugs with the same mechanism of action, and if there was a biological explanation for this clustering. Using computational techniques, Annie sought to develop an automated system for detecting these subclusters within different drug classes. She focused on one drug class, HDAC inhibitors. Based on their gene expression profiles, she identified that there were indeed subclusters within HDAC inhibitors. Using more computational tools, she began preliminary work on identifying a biological explanation for the differences in the behavior of these drugs.
"BSSP has definitely shaped the path that I want to pursue in college. I’ve essentially delved into this new area of science that I’ve never been exposed to. Originally I’ve always focused my energy on biology and I've never thought to major in anything computer science related because I’ve always thought that it was a field that only boys could excel at. I’m considering majoring in bioinformatics in college now," said Annie.