Hello Lab! My name is Daniel Cuevas and I just wanted to give myself an introduction here as I am joining the group this week. Hopefully this gives everyone a quick insight into my background experience.
After graduating, I began my internship at Life Technologies where I had a great deal of training doing wetlab experiments as a molecular biologist. I had a month’s worth of work with the SOLiD sequencing platform. This included the entire DNA library preparation protocol: library fragmentation and preparation, primer ligation, ePCR emulsions, library enrichments, and finally setting up the sequencing instruments to process my DNA samples. Afterwards, running their genome mapping software was also required to determine various analysis on the samples that were sequenced, such as genome coverage analysis.
In a month’s time, I was absorbed into the newly-acquired Ion Torrent company and continued my mol-bio internship there. I continued performing benchwork duties and running the PGM sequencers, but began to explore the analysis processes that were ran on the sequence data. I slowly became incorporated with the software and bioinformatics aspect of the pipeline, and worked alongside the developing group there. After my internship was completed, I took the position with the software and data analysis team where I eventually accumulated a total of 1 year with Life Tech/Ion Torrent.
While working with Ion Torrent, I quickly saw areas where my bioinformatics and analytical skills fell a bit short; areas where I thought more knowledge and an educational-foundation could improve my worth as a scientist and increase my contributions to the R&D teams. This became one of many reasons why I chose to come back to academia in pursuit of higher knowledge and a higher degree in a biological/computational area. I needed re-inforcement of my analysis skills and training in how to look at data and how to develop the questions to ask that would pinpoint problems which could then move this field forward, whether it be related to sequencing improvement, algorithm optimization, cancer-detection software enhancements, or even novel methods that could change the processes set in place now. This now brings me here, on the path to higher education and increase in personal abilities. I hope to become a strong contributor to this group of upcoming scientists and to become a strong one as well.