My area of research is purely computational in nature. I do not perform any work in a wet lab. To carry out my research projects, I develop new analytical methods, write computer programs to implement these methods, run computer programs written by both myself and others, and develop and maintain web sites for dissemination of results. My time is divided between basic research and developing tools and resources for use by the research community.
My work focuses on developing and applying tools for genome mapping. On a level above DNA sequence, there exist several types of maps, including cytogenetic, linkage or meiotic, radiation hybrid (RH,. and clone-based physical maps. One of my areas of research focuses on automating the construction of linkage and RH maps. The process of ordering markers on these two types of maps relies on statistical and heuristical methods, follows a stepwise algorithm, and is quite computationally intensive for large marker sets. I have written a computer program that is used for automated large-scale linkage and radiation hybrid mapping. MULTIMAP is freely available to the genetics community and has been used in several genome-wide mapping projects in humans and other organisms (mous, rat, dog). The ability to rapidly and efficiently generate RH maps has facilitated my work on research projects examining the properties of different hybrid panels currently in use for mapping and the properties of the resultant maps.
In addition to building stand-alone maps, I also focus on map integration. These different types of maps are typically each created and displayed as separate entities. Links are made between markers in common between multiple types of maps, but little effort has been made to define methods for truly integrating all the different pieces of map information into one comprehensive map. This area is becoming even more important as the human DNA sequence becomes known. In collaboration with Dr. Peter White at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, we have constructed genome-wide integrated maps that can be accessed at the eGenome web site (http://genome.chop.edu).
We are now embarking on a brand new area of research. to search for genes involved in female reproductive genetics - in other words, looking for genes that play a role in fertility.
Additional information about my research can be found on my webpage at compgen.rutgers.edu.