The PhD Program in Computational Biology & Bioinformatics (CBB) is an integrative, multi-disciplinary training program that encompasses the study of biology using computational and quantitative methods. In and out of the classroom, students learn to apply the tools of statistics, mathematics, computer science and informatics to biological problems. The vibrant and innovative Duke research in these fields provides exciting interactions between biological and computational scientists. Because the Program in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics is based in the Duke Center for Genomic and Computational Biology, it offers a unique opportunity for students to become one of tomorrow's leaders in the genome sciences.
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Lawrence David is an Assistant Professor at the GCB in the Department of Molecular Genetics & Microbiology. Lawrence began his research career as an undergraduate at Columbia University, where he studied biological network inference with Chris Wiggins. During his PhD in Computational & Systems Biology at MIT, Lawrence worked with Eric Alm to reconstruct ancient microbial genomes and incorporate ecological adaptation into models of microbial genome evolution. Lawrence performed postdoctoral work as a Junior Fellow and Principal Investigator at Harvard's Society of Fellows, where he collaborated with Peter Turnbaugh on analyses of the human microbiome's response to diet- and disease-based perturbations.
The David Lab continues to study human-associated microbial ecosystems. These ecosystems harbor hundreds of trillions of microbes per human, outnumbering host cells by an order of magnitude. The David Lab is particularly interested in how commensal microbes help resist, and ultimately respond to, colonization by human pathogens. An active area of research is the longitudinal study of cholera infections among residents of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Primary research questions include: Can enteric microbial communities predict an individual's susceptibility to cholera? Why do bacterial ecological successions follow cholera infection? What long-term effects do infection and treatment have on commensal gut microbes? The David Lab is also broadly interested in developing new modeling and visualization tools for time-series of complex microbial communities, as well as exploring the ecology of human microbiota in the developing world.