Rajiv Movva ’18 was named a Davidson Fellow by the Davidson Institute for Talent Development to develop his project “SNPpet: Deep Learning the Human Epigenome Reveals Regulatory Sequence Patterns and Genomic Mechanisms of Disease.” Only 20 students are so honored nationwide each year. Movva is off to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology this fall. Check out the great article about the honor and Movva’s plans and read his official biography on the Davidson Institute web page.
The article notes, “Movva built a computer model that can use a particular DNA sequence as input to predict gene expression level as output, which sheds light on the poorly understood ‘dark genome.’ In practice, Movva’s model could bring clinical meaning to large patient-specific DNA sequence datasets that are currently hard to decode. This advanced timeframe can allow patients to make lifestyle changes or be treated far in advance, when the disease has little potential to have severe consequence. Movva’s model can also give researchers a clearer picture of disease by flagging genes that are abnormally regulated, prioritizing better targets for drugs and other treatments that remain to be discovered.”
Davidson Scholarships are awarded to young scholars—each must be 18 or younger to receive the grant. Categories include science, technology, engineering, mathematics, music, literature, philosophy and Outside the Box. Projects must contribute a work recognized as an outstanding accomplishment by experts in the field that has the potential to benefit society.
Movva will receive a $10,000 grant to assist him with his research. The 2018 Davidson Fellows will be honored at a reception in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 28. Amy Jin ’18 also received a Davidson Fellowship; read about it in Harker News