Headshot portrait of Rashid Al-Abri - Bio-X Undergraduate Fellow
2021 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

Home Department: Computer Science
Mentor: Michael Snyder (Genetics)

“A Polymorphic Catalog of Short Tandem Repeats Is Enriched for Clinically Relevant Genomic Regions”

Short tandem repeats (STRs) are repetitive DNA sequences that vary in length among individuals which makes them polymorphic. Through the use of STR catalogs, researchers have identified STRs implicated in Friedreich’s ataxia and fragile X syndrome. Although most pathogenic STRs are polymorphic, the leading tool for generating such catalog produces sequences that are mostly not. By employing big data techniques, Rashid aims to show that a polymorphic catalog is more biologically and clinically relevant, enabling the scientific community to more easily discover novel STRs implicated in disease.