ifkorf at ucdavis dot edu
As a youth, my favorite classes were sciences (especially biology) and my favorite pastime was computer gaming. Unlike today, back in 1980, pixels were the size of your fist and games required a lot of imagination. I have fond memories of some of those games, but even fonder memories of breaking into them. It wasn’t cheating that motivated me, but rather the challenge of figuring out how they worked. One wouldn’t expect that hacking computer games until the wee hours would be useful training for the budding molecular biologist… and it wasn’t. But for my eventual research program that mixes genomics and bioinformatics to answer fundamental questions about the hidden “language” of genome structure and function, it was exactly the sort of training I needed. I feel very fortunate that I have been able to make a career out of what is essentially a game to me.
Every genome contains the blueprints for an organism as well as a vast amount of its life history written in the simple alphabet of DNA. Understanding these “books of life” is one of the greatest challenges of this century. My research program uses bioinformatic and genomic techniques to decypher the various languages encoded in DNA. Specific areas of interest include gene prediction, epigenetics, genome assembly, gene regulation, protein-DNA interactions, sequence alignment, metagenomics, hidden Markov models, high performance computing, motif-finding, and genetic algorithms. I am especially attracted to problems at the interface of molecular biology and computer science.
See my Google Scholar page
My lab features people from high school to Ph.D. We don’t care about age, gender, nationality, favorite food, etc. We only care that you are passionate about science. We can teach you about bioinformatics and genomics (and foosball). We can’t teach you how to be self-motivated and insatiably curious. If you want to become a member of my lab, email me your CV and a cover letter. In the letter, tell me what you find interesting about my work. Generic, impersonal letters receive generic, impersonal responses (if any).
Mar 23, 2011: A Nature news article about genome assembly, with an interview of Ian Korf.
For questions or comments about the website, please e-mail:
korflab AT ucdavis DOT edu
Contact information for specific members of our lab can be found on their personal pages.