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GRADUATE STUDENT INFORMATION gingivitis
GRADUATE STUDENT INFORMATION THE ACADEMIC JOB SEARCH ACADEMIC JOB PREPARATION The minimum job application in academia requires a vita (CV), letter DOCTORAL STUDENTS YEAR OF of application (or cover letter), and at least three reference letters. CANDIDACY JOB SEARCH TIMELINE Many departments also request a writing sample, a personal statement, a As you enter your final year of doctoral work, many of you may be statement of research interests, a statement of teaching interests, and/or struggling with the demands of defending your dissertation or final at least one chapter from your dissertation. research studies, continuing your work as a research assistant, and beginning the process of obtaining an academic job. The following WEBSITES TO AID IN YOUR timeline and suggestions can serve as a guide to help you manage ACADEMIC JOB SEARCH your academic job search process. Academic Job Postings Academic Careers Online Summer Quarter academiccareers.com Update your CV, general letter of application, and organize Academic Employment Network materials for a teaching portfolio. academploy.com Obtain feedback from faculty, mentors, and fellow students Academic Keys (academic) on creating a CV that contains the necessary information for your education.academickeys.com field of study. Make an appointment with a CDC counselor for further Academic Position Network feedback. apnjobs.com Affirmative Action Register Obtain letters of reference. aar-eeo.com This is a good time to contact past references and update letters. American Educational Research Association Consider using the Reference File Service at the CDC to store letters of aera.net reference: https://cdc-secure.stanford.edu/reference . Chronicle of Higher Education (includes higher education) chronicle.com/jobs Fall Quarter Finalize one version of your CV as a template. Postdocs You may have several versions of your CV depending on the Post Docs positions for which you are applying: research positions, teaching post-docs.com positions, endowed chairs, and other types of academic jobs. Community Colleges Apply for positions. California Community Colleges GRADUATE STUDENTS Find these through your dissertation chair/advisor, departmental ccweek.com (infonet) listings, CDC resources, professional conferences and California Community College Registry organizations, and various Internet websites. cccregistry.org CAREERLINE Continue to solicit letters of recommendation and update previous aacc.nche.edu letters. Community College Web mcli.dist.maricopa.edu/cc/ Attend the CDC’s Academic Job Search Series and other departmental and campus events. DEVELOPING AN EFFECTIVE CV and cover letter writing, academic job talks, teaching portfolios, and TEACHING PORTFOLIO on-/off-campus interviewing are usually covered here. Since teaching ability is not easily demonstrated on a vita or during an interview, a “teaching portfolio” which demonstrates Meet with a CDC counselor for further resources. one’s teaching expertise, may sometimes serve as a useful addition to your application for an academic position. A teaching portfolio Winter Quarter may be especially relevant when applying for positions where Continue applying for positions. teaching is stressed in the job description. The intent of the teaching Prepare and practice your academic job talk. Practice interviews with portfolio is to capture the intellectual substance and actual samples peers, faculty, CDC counselors, and other supporters/mentors. of teaching methods that an academic interview, vita, or application letter cannot. Spring Quarter Continue applying for positions. Job applicants seeking positions in other career fields including Tenure track and one year positions continue to be announced architecture, art, advertising, fashion, and writing often prepare during this period. “portfolios” containing samples of their work. Employers use portfolios as a means to determine the abilities of applicants. Evaluate academic job offers and be sure to negotiate for time to Review of the portfolio is usually part of the interview process, carefully consider each offer. although some applicants are asked to submit samples of work Discuss negotiation strategies with your advisor, CDC earlier in the process. Others choose to send a portfolio as part of the counselors, and other personal resources. dossier. It is up to you to determine what to send, how much to send, *If you have not yet found a position, do not despair. You may and the appropriate time to send the different components of your wish to continue applying for jobs and it may take more than one application. Samples of teaching portfolios are available at the Career year to find a position. Development Center and the Center for Teaching and Learning. cdc.stanford.edu 5 SUGGESTED COMPONENTS OF A TEACHING PORTFOLIO Pedagogical Statement: Learning and Teaching is… Work samples from current or recent teaching responsibilities: Goals: My students will learn…. C • ourse materials prepared for students such as syllabi, exams, Implementation: I have encouraged/will encourage this handouts, and/or discussion questions. *If you have never learning by…. created such items, it is okay to create a mock-up of planned Growth: I have successfully developed and learned…. materials you would use. Goals: In the future, I plan to…. S • tudent essays, field or lab reports and other works with your TA critiques and feedback. It is okay to mention personal experiences which have brought you A • n edited videotape or written case study of a classroom to this place in your career as well as mistakes from which you have teaching experience. learned. What is most important, however is that the information be relevant and positively-focused. In addition, it is also common to use Documents of one’s professional development as a teacher: metaphors for teaching or quotations about teaching which guide you. R • ecords of changes resulting from self-evaluation. Again, however, it is important to bring such references back to you— E • vidence of participation in workshops, seminars, and how you have implemented said philosophies. s profes ional meetings intended to improve teaching. To review a sample teaching statement go to page 9 or visit the S • tatement of teaching responsibilities. Center for Teaching and Learning. S • tatement of pedagogical philosophy and strategy. WRITING AN EFFECTIVE Information from others: RESEARCH STATEMENT S • tudent evaluation forms. Many top-tier academic institutions and science/tech S • tatements/evaluations from colleagues who observed your departments require applicants to submit a research statement teaching. as part of their dossier. This is typically a one- to two-page essay I • nvitations to teach from outside agencies. about your research interests, experiences, and goals. It is used to assess fit with the institution as well as level of research acumen in TIPS FOR DEVELOPING YOUR TEACHING PORTFOLIO a particular area or field. Although everyone’s research statement S • tart compiling samples for your portfolio as early as possible. will vary, it should include: F • orm the habit of filing away samples of work that demonstrate your teaching. Previous Research Experience (25%): Where did your career begin S • elect those items that you deem to be the best examples of and on what early projects did you work? How did it lead you here? your work demonstrating teaching quality. What are your research philosophies and methodologies? T • he intended use of your teaching portfolio may vary, thus so should its format. Current Projects (25%): On what does your dissertation focus? B • e sure the format is well organized and present your work How was/is it funded? What are your specialty areas? What with care, neatness, and creativity. methodologies did you use? A • fter you secure a job, plan to continue to retain copies of your work. GRADUATE STUDENTS Future Endeavors (50%): Where will this lead? What are your WRITING AN EFFECTIVE TEACHING funding sources? What are the implications of this research? How STATEMENT does this fit within the institution to which you are applying? Though teaching portfolios are a good way to display evidence of teaching experiences and skills, teaching statements are requested Within the research statement, you are not required to explain more often. This is typically a self-reflective essay about teaching which exactly what your research will be in the future (you do not need to may be included in your portfolio or submitted on its own. It is typically state hypotheses or name specific methodologies unless necessary, one to two pages in length and will focus on your teaching interests, for example). What is most important is that you are able to present provide an overview of the teaching you have done thus far, and high- a realistic and interesting research agenda which fits the goals, light your beliefs about learning, education, and pedagogy in general. facilities, and needs of the department to which you are applying. In doing so, you also do not have to highlight potential working To make the teaching statement easier to prepare, it is best to relationships within the department unless there is an obvious fit or begin by writing down your thoughts about the following prompts: you feel it will make your essay stronger. Why does teaching appeal to you? Finally, be sure to cite any work from which you draw. It is not Who was your favorite teacher? Least favorite? Why? necessary, however, to talk entirely about the work of your research What is the purpose of teaching? (i.e., To train future leaders? To group. While it is important to give credit where it is due, your statement provide critical thinking skills? To promote your field? etc.) should focus on the work you have done within the group so that the How do students best learn? What techniques have you used to committee can garner an idea of your skills and potential. promote this learning? A sample research statement can be found on page 10. What/where have you taught and what/where do you want to be teaching in the future? WRITING AN EFFECTIVE What is it about the position to which you are applying (and the PERSONAL STATEMENT students you will be teaching) that specifically appeals to you? One of the most commonly asked questions by applicants is How have you assessed your teaching effectiveness? What have “what do schools look for in a personal statement?” There is no short you done/will you do to improve effectiveness? answer to this question. There are, however, some guidelines and suggestions to be offered. In a discussion of the personal statement, After you have thought about each of these ideas, begin writing. there are two general principles to consider: The order of your teaching statement may vary but in general you First, some universities use the personal statement as a may want to organize it around these concepts: pre-interview document. 6 Stanford Career Development Center Second, most job descriptions do not state exactly what they this project, I was given my first glimpse into the want in a personal statement or they only list vague guidelines. This complex work of international law. My work on this is because the search committee wants to know what you feel is fellowship culminated with several published articles most significant about your application. and an invitation to lecture on this subject in Japan.” CONTENT This concerns the past; now what are the hopes or plans for the The applicant’s statement should be about him- or herself. future? Later in the essay, the applicant wrote: Although this fact may seem obvious, it is amazing how many statements are submitted which focus on relevant personal goals “The preceding paragraphs have illustrated the in addition to professional ones. Search committees are more eager extensive connection my education and work have had to read about what you have to say about yourself as a candidate with the law. In retrospect, I believe that I am most for positions. effective in a classroom environment, educating future What should you write about yourself? The key is to stress your leaders to think critically and produce solid research. strengths without being obnoxious and deal with your weaknesses This is what has led me to academia.” without being defensive. Committees look at how persuasive an applicant is in discussing her/his own candidacy. 10 MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN The personal statement gives the applicant the opportunity to WRITING YOUR TEACHING, RESEARCH, take the search committee by the hand and guide them through his/ AND PERSONAL STATEMENTS her application. The big advantage here is that it can be done solely F 1. ailing to recognize the importance of the personal/ research/ on the applicant’s terms. Consequently, if there is some activity, teaching statement. work, or life experience that he/she is very proud of, that should U 2. nderestimating the difficulty and time involved in be stressed and expanded on in the personal statement. It is your developing the essays. responsibility and also to your advantage to highlight the strongest W 3. aiting until just before your deadline to begin work on the parts of the application. Separate yourself from the pack. By statement(s). stressing your strong points, you are able to maximize your chances. N 4. ot researching the school, department, and/or position However, be careful how this is done. Confidence is a fine quality, ahead of time. however arrogance is something else. The line between the two is 5. Submitting a statement that is more generic than personal. fine, but it is crucial that the applicant understand the difference. 6. Filling your statement with clichés. Some people would say that you should not discuss your N 7. ot focusing on all aspects of your experiences (previous work, weaknesses in a personal statement. They argue that to deal with current projects, and what you hope to produce in the future). your weaknesses only draws attention to them. There is merit in this, S 8. ubmitting your essay with typographical or grammatical of course. However, part of the search committee’s job is to examine errors. closely both the strong and weak points of each applicant. The issue is T 9. rying to guess what the committee wants instead of not whether the weaker parts of the application will be examined. The focusing on what you personally bring to the position. issue is on whose terms they will be examined. GRADUATE STUDENTS W 10. riting statements that simply list out experiences or repeat Some applicants are reluctant to discuss certain aspects of their background, such as history of disadvantage, ethnic status, etc. and information from the CV instead of expounding on information the affects these had on their career decisions and goals. This is a and writing about it in conventional essay formats. mistake. No one is asking for lengthy stories of heroism in overcoming enormous obstacles. Information of this kind, however, ACADEMIC CVS AND COVER LETTERS is very valuable to committees and in most instances, if done The curriculum vitae (also referred to as the vita or CV) professionally; it can only work to the applicant’s advantage. is a summary of an individual’s educational background and In conclusion, remember these few things: experiences. The CV is used when applying for teaching and administrative positions in academia or for a fellowship or grant. First, applicants should be brief. They should say what they In contrast to a CV, a resume is used to summarize an individual’s have to say and no more. There are usually no page restrictions. education and experience related to a specific career objective in Experience suggests however, that two pages are sufficient. the private or public sector. The CV is the key document in securing an interview with a search committee. Other important elements of Second, many applicants subscribe to the theory that recruiting the application process include the application or “cover” letter and is strictly a numbers game and most personal statements are never letters of reference. In addition, applicants are sometimes asked to read. This is not the case. Of course, the numbers are very important include transcripts, teaching evaluations, and research proposals. in any decision, but the statements are read. Applicants should be advised to write their statements with great care. In many cases, WRITING YOUR CURRICULUM VITAE they will be the determining factor. It is crucial to have the CV represent your experience, accomplishments, expertise, and special professional qualities in the An Example… most positive manner possible. The visual impact of the CV provides It is refreshing to read a statement which gives some the initial message about your attention to detail and thoroughness. background on why a person wants to work in a particular area or field. Here is an excerpt from a statement: I • s it well designed, organized and attractive? A • re categories of information clearly labeled? “Shortly after my return from Washington, D.C., I was I • s it easy to find certain sections of interest to search awarded a research fellowship from the International committee members? Union for the Conservation of Nature. The purpose H • as your advisor reviewed and critiqued it? of this project was to develop an inventory of ecologi- H • ave you avoided using acronyms? cally balanced, marine-based technologies. During H • as it been prepared on a computer with letter quality print? cdc.stanford.edu 7 • as it been proofread several times to eliminate any typos? H WRITING YOUR COVER LETTER H • as it been copied on heavyweight, smooth finished white Use departmental letterhead, if appropriate. The most important paper? aspect of your letters is that they should be written individually While contents of a CV will vary from field to field, it is worth to respond to each position. This means that you must give some noting some of the major categories and information typically thought to how your background matches the qualifications of the included. Attached are sample resumes which reflect stylistic position. In addition, your letters must indicate a sincere interest in differences and, to some degree, conventions of the fields academic life and in the institution to which you are applying. represented. Your CV should be long enough to thoroughly present State the specific position for which you are applying all your qualifications in the categories discussed below. That will and where you learned about it. If there is not an advertised probably take two, three, four, or more pages. See sample CV on page 39. position, explain who suggested you write or why you are writing. Let the reader know who you are, what your field is, and where you Typical Format: are attending school. Indicate any special interest or background you have that may be of interest to their department or institution. Identifying Information: Name, address, phone, back-up number These paragraphs will vary according to your field and possibly and email. Leave off date of birth, marital status, number of children or other information that is not job related or does the types of positions for which you will be applying (teaching not add to your qualifications. emphasis vs. research emphasis). Discuss your dissertation or thesis (or most recent research), what it accomplishes, your Education: Begin with your most recent or expected degree. methodology, conclusions, and the implications of your work. List degrees, majors, institutions, and dates of completion This may take more than one paragraph, but you should write to a (or expected date) in reverse chronological order. Also list general audience as opposed to specialists in your field. Discuss minors, subfields, and honors. future plans for research or research interest as well. You should Dissertation or Thesis: Provide the title and a brief description also point out supporting fields in which you have expertise or of your work, its theoretical framework, your conclusions, enumerate the variety of classes you could teach. If the position your director (and readers, if their names or departments requires teaching, be enthusiastic about your experience and add breadth or new perspectives to your area of research). discuss the courses you have developed or your teaching style. For engineering and sciences, if you decide to describe your research more completely in the “Experience” section, you Deal with logistics, namely, are you having a reference file may want to simply list the title of your dissertation in this sent and a writing sample/chapter of your dissertation sent? If so, section. For a new candidate in humanities or social sciences, mention that you look forward to meeting with the committee and to the dissertation should be featured prominently in this section. their inviting you to an interview. See sample letter on page 45. GRADUATE STUDENTS Awards, Honors, Fellowships, Scholarships: Recognition of scholarship by the university or within the field is very important. Memberships in honorary societies belong in this section as well, unless they have already been listed under “Education.” Professional Experience: This category is often divided into several possible categories such as “Research Experience,” “Consulting,” “Fieldwork,” “Teaching Experience,” or “Postdoctoral Work,” as well as many others, depending on your discipline. Reverse chronological order is again the rule. Academic Service: List all departmental and university groups, committees and task forces on which you served. Student groups are valid as well. You should demonstrate that you have exhibited leadership qualities, and you will assume certain departmental administrative duties if hired. Memberships or Professional Affiliations: List all professional groups and offices held. Languages: List all you read/speak and note those in which you are fluent, proficient, or in which you have a basic knowledge. 8 Stanford Career Development Center SAMPLE TEACHING STATEMENT SUMMARY OF TEACHING PHILOSOPHY AND INTERESTS Although one of my goals as an instructor is to relate the intellectual edifice which comprises the field of microbiology, it is by no means the only goal. It is just as important to teach students to think critically about the facts they are being served. The essence of a good scientist is the ability to think critically. I believe that achieving these goals requires the participation of both student and teacher. I feel that fulfilling my first goal of relating the scientific underpinnings (the facts) of microbiology demands that the student be an active participant in the process. This is the guiding principle behind many of my efforts in the classroom. Because different students employ different modes of learning I attempt to present the same information in a variety of ways. As an example, auditory learners may grasp the concepts surrounding supercoiled DNA by simply listening to a description of the phenomena. A verbal explanation will be insufficient for visually oriented learners however. Using twisted surgical tubing as a prop to explain the supercoiling of DNA can clarify a complex idea and make the lecture more memorable for these visually oriented learners. I find that using a variety of methods to present the subject matter draws the students into the lecture making them active participants in the process. Active participation also requires the development of critical thinking skills on the part of the student. To foster this ability I attempt to intersperse questions or short discussions within the lecture to encourage students to critically analyze the material at hand. Finally, the inclusion of current events in the classroom makes the material personally relevant to the students and provides a perspective of the material within a larger societal context. But the learning requirements of higher education do not stop at the classroom door. Another tenet of my teaching philosophy was succinctly stated by Chickering and Gamson in Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education (Chickering and Gamson, 1987): “there is no substitute for time on material”. In reflecting on my own learning experiences I’ve found that I learned and retained the most information while actively engaged in writing term papers or other constructive projects. I believe that such an approach should be an integral and substantial part of any course. Modern technology can be an enormous aid to these outside projects by providing additional tools such as on-line tutorials and resources. These in turn have the potential to make a student’s learning experience more engaging, more in-depth and possibly more efficient than the traditional lecture. I feel that part of my role as an instructor is to direct students to noteworthy resources and to develop engaging online content appropriate to the current course of study. The active participation of the students is only half the equation in a successful learning/teaching environment however. Beyond merely lecturing, self-evaluation, self-improvement and student feedback are crucial components of my participation in the process. As a means of self-evaluation I have used videotape to critically review my public speaking GRADUATE STUDENTS abilities and assess how well the lecture material was presented, as well as, how well it was received. While at Miami University I found it very motivating to watch the student evaluation scores of my teaching improve course after course. The desire to excel in teaching motivated me to attend classes and seminars, such as Teaching and Presentation Skills presented by the Stanford University Postdoctoral office. In addition, I regularly read Tomorrow’s Professor Listserv which provides articles, references and resources for continued development of teaching skills (http://ctl.stanford.edu) and I frequently peruse the American Association of Higher Education website (http://ww.aahe.org). I look forward to incorporating some of the teaching techniques that I’ve only had the opportunity to read about into future classes. Much of the motivation for self-improvement in teaching comes from enjoying what you do. I have had substantial teaching opportunities in a wide variety of microbiology courses and found each experience very rewarding. I have taught everything from non-majors courses such as “Experimenting with Microbes” to graduate courses such as the “Microbial Diversity” course at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole. It has been particularly enjoyable to teach non-majors courses and observe the dawning realization among students of the impact that microorganisms have not only in their daily lives but the impact that they have had throughout history. At the other end of the spectrum I also enjoy teaching graduate level courses because of the enthusiasm for microbiology exhibited by the students, as well as the challenging and insightful questions that the students pose. It is my guiding philosophy that teaching and learning are the two sides of a process, which requires committed participation of the players on both sides. As each teaching opportunity arises approach it with the goal of eliciting the participation of each and every student. To that end I continue to try and expand my pedagogical skills. And if I have done my job well I will have also conveyed some of my enthusiasm for microbiology and sparked a life long interest in microbiology among the students. Additional documentation of my teaching experience, philosophy and future plans is available at http://cmgm.stanford.edu/~pwlepp/Teach.html. cdc.stanford.edu 9 GRADUATE STUDENTS SAMPLE RESEARCH STATEMENT 1 0 RESEARCH INTERESTS AND GOALS project has been undertaken in collaboration with Craig Cummings (Stanford University) and Summary David Relman (Stanford University). The aims for this project are to: My research interests lie primarily in the area of microbial ecology. Two of the diverse ecosystems I have had the opportunity to work in are the Gulf of Mexico and the human - Develop algorithms which identify insertion and deletion events among contiguous subgingival crevice. Despite the vast differences in the scale of these two ecosystems genes within the CGH data. similar methodological and modeling approaches can be used to answer key ecological - Develop a hidden Markov model (HMM) for gene insertion, deletion and substitution questions such as species composition and dependencies. The ecological tools that I have events. applied in my work have included predator-prey and density-dependent models of microbial - Automate the application of maximum parsimony algorithms for the phylogenetic interactions, identification of microbial species using hierarchical and non-hierarchical clustering analysis of CGH data. methods, and parametric estimators of species diversity. Many of the approaches in my work - Develop a maximum-likelihood model and algorithm for the phylogenetic analysis of utilize ribosomal RNA (rRNA) to identify and quantify microorganisms independent of cultivation. CGH data. Cultivation has provided an extremely biased view of microbial diversity. Ribosomal RNA is - Develop a graphical user interface (GUI) for simultaneous presentation of CGH well suited for the culture-independent study of microbial ecology because it reflects organismal data, annotation and phylogeny. phylogeny and cellular rRNA concentration is correlated with growth rate. Finally, my current research in oral microbial diversity has driven me to develop Past Research several bioinformatics programs to process and collate large numbers of microbial sequences. Stanford Career Development Center My graduate work began with Dr. Thomas Schmidt at Miami University and continued This software is now routinely used in related projects within the lab. with his move to the Center for Microbial Ecology at Michigan State University. This research focused on the development and application of ecological models to Synechococcus populations Direction of Future Research along a nutrient gradient in the Gulf of Mexico. During the course of my graduate research My current research into oral microbial communities provides an opportunity to I developed a method to measure control of Synechococcus population size by predation or pursue a number of intriguing ecological hypotheses in future projects. density-dependent effects based on the quantification of cellular growth rates using ribosomal RNA probes. The resulting dissertation and publications remain one of the few applications • Subgingival eucaryotic diversity. Little is known of the extent of the eucaryotic of ecological models to microbial systems outside of a laboratory setting. diversity within oral biofilms. The diversity and possible role of oral protozoans as microbial predators and the subsequent development of oral predator-prey models is an example of the Current Research exciting opportunities for future study. • Oral Microbial Diversity. I am currently investigating the association between • Intermediate disturbance hypothesis. This hypothesis states that the greatest species microbial communities (Bacteria and Archaea) and disease progression from gingivitis to diversity (richness) is maintained at levels of intermediate disturbance within the ecosystem. periodontitis. This research is being conducted in the lab of David Relman at Stanford Within an oral ecosystem perturbations such as brushing, anaerobiosis and changes in University in collaboration with Gary Armitage at UC San Francisco. This research is driven pH may be categorized as frequent, intermediate or infrequent disturbances depending on by three main hypotheses: individual habits. Addressing how various levels of disturbance affect microbial diversity - The number of bacterial and archaeal species (species richness) increases at would provide students the opportunity to apply ecological theory to the human body and periodontitis sites. disease, which has traditionally not been considered from an ecosystem perspective. - A restricted set of bacterial and archaeal species predominate within periodontitis • Density-dependent models of oral biofilm formation. By some estimates there sites (diversity is uneven). are over 500 bacterial species that are potential inhabitants of the oral cavity. The proximity - The bacterial and archaeal species that predominate within periodontitis sites are of these species, each with different affinities for various substrates, provides the opportunity distinct from those that predominate within gingivitis and healthy sites. to develop density-dependent models of how the community competes for limited resources. This work would incorporate models of the spatial heterogeneity of biofilms which is a This research has revealed that there is a significant association between the departure from most density-dependent models that assume a homogeneous planktonic abundance of methanogenic Archaea and periodontal disease. It has also revealed that community. These models would necessitate using in vitro oral biofilm model systems, members of the uncultivated TM7 bacterial division are part of the normal oral flora and as well as diverse techniques such as confocal laser microscopy and substrate-tracking their abundance may increase during the early phases of periodontal disease. Marker organisms autoradiographic fluorescent in situ hybridization (STARFISH). such as these may help to identify individuals at increased risk for the development of • Microbial diversity of the oral flora. The microbial diversity of the oral flora remains periodontitis and to target early intervention. These and similar results form the basis for a fertile area of exploration. We and others have identified a number of bacterial species longitudinal studies in the future and for the development of novel diagnostic tests. that may be hallmarks for the development of periodontal disease. Prospective studies are a logical and necessary follow-up to current research. Definitive evidence of the role of these • Bioinformatics. In addition to the phylogenetic analysis that forms the basis of much hallmark bacteria may eventually provide a means of early intervention and treatment. of my work I am also engaged in several bioinformatics projects. The goal of the first project In addition, we have been able to demonstrate that methanogenic Archaea comprise is to sequence and annotate microbial genomes associated with periodontitis patients and a significant portion of the microbial population in a subset of periodontitis patients. has been undertaken in collaboration with David Relman (Stanford University) and Steven Gill Sequencing and annotating the genome of Methanobrevibacter oralis would provide (TIGR). The investigation of multiple genomes from an ecosystem has only recently become invaluable insight into the mechanisms by which this organism is able to evade host defenses, feasible. The bioinformatics tools necessary to facilitate this study will require substantial as well as, its role within the microbial community. modification of existing tools or the creation of new tools to track and analyze sequences from hundreds of microorganisms. My work on the human oral microbiota applies ecological theory to the study of an ecosystem that has traditionally not been considered from an ecosystem perspective. This The second project is the development of computational tools to automate the work could benefit both the school of dentistry and the department of microbiology and analysis of comparative genome hybridization (CGH) microarray data and to facilitate its immunology. I look forward to the opportunity to apply ecological theories, tools and interpretation in the context of genome annotation and phylogenetic relationships. This approaches in collaboration with members of the department.
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