SPUR 2021: EXPLORING THE EXPOSOME

Faculty Name:
Ramrikan Gouripeddi

Department:
Biomedical Informatics

Faculty College:
Medicine

Email:


Project Description:

**This project is a part of the Summer Program for Undergraduate Research (SPUR), which provides undergraduate students with an intensive 10-week research experience under the mentorship of a University of Utah faculty member. SPUR 2021 begins on May 26 and ends on August 5. If you are interested in this project, please review all program information on the SPUR site. If you wish to apply to this project, you must apply using the SPUR 2021 application.**

About 50 – 70% of health and well-being is determined by the environment and the lifestyle of an individual lives in and their behaviors within these environments. The sum total of all the environmental exposures an individual encounters in their lifetime is called the exposome. The exposome includes molecular constituents involved in direct biological pathway alterations as well as mutagenic and epigenetic mechanisms of environmental influences on the phenome. Exposures to different chemicals have been shown to play a role in different conditions including asthma, obesity, as well as other respiratory, cardiovascular, endocrine, and metabolic conditions and cancers. Similarly, excessive use of digital devices have been linked to various mental conditions. Understanding the effects of these chemical exposures and digital device use requires representing these molecules in research studies that involve generating and utilizing exposomes. The Center of Excellence for Exposure Health Informatics (CEEHI) is developing systematic informatics methods for generating and utilizing such exposomes for performing translational research.



Opportunity Type:

This is a paid research position


Student Role:

The student will play a key role in performing interdisciplinary research combining informatics methods with their chemistry, computer science or other backgrounds. Under the guidance of informatics faculty, the student will have an opportunity to collaborate with faculty, students and staff in multiple domains including various engineering departments, chemistry, atmospheric sciences, informatics and various clinical departments at Utah and elsewhere. Depending on the student’s interests and background, she/he will have opportunities to work on the semantic and metadata representations of molecules measured by various novel sensors; computational modeling methods in generating spatio-temporal profiles of exposure; and utilizing these measurements and modeled exposures profiles in health studies. The student will be exposed to various informatics methods and tools developed by CEEHI and elsewhere to perform their research. Remote Contingency Plan: All aspects of this project can be conducted remotely using computers for data analysis and meetings via zoom.


Student Benefits:

The student will have a learning experience in performing interdisciplinary health research. She/he will have opportunities to improve writing and presentation skills, and work in collaborative teams. We will work with student in presenting their work at various local, national and international avenues, as well as authoring abstracts and journal manuscripts.


Project Duration:

35-40 hours per week on research and program-related activities, begins May 26, 2021, and ends August 5, 2021


Minimum Requirements:

Admission to the program is competitive. Applicants must meet all of the following criteria: 1) be a matriculated, degree-seeking undergraduate student in the Fall 2021 semester (beginning or continuing college career in Fall 2021 and not graduating before December 2021; concurrent enrollment while in high school does not meet this eligibility requirement). Applicants do not need to be a University of Utah student. 2) eligible to work in the United States: If you are a University of Utah Dreamer (with or without DACA), you are eligible to participate. If you are a Dreamer from a different institution: If you have DACA, you are eligible to participate. If you do not have DACA, you are able to participate and gain research experience, but might not be able to be compensated. For more information, please contact Megan Shannahan at megan.shannahan@utah.edu or 801-581-2478. If you are an international student or scholar, you must either a) be a degree-seeking undergraduate student at an American institution of higher education and verify with your institution’s international center that your visa allows you to participate in this program, OR b) possess documentation that establishes your eligibility to work in the United States (if you hold US citizenship, it is likely you have these documents). 3) able to commit to approximately 35-40 hours per week of employment at the University of Utah for the entire duration of the program (May 26-August 5, 2021). 4) at least 18 years old by May 24, 2021 (required if you wish to use on-campus housing; preferred if you will not be using on-campus housing). Please note that no previous college coursework or previous research experience is required.