Global Challenge

The goal of this project is to understand how biological systems innovate through the evolutionary process to make novel structures and functions. This knowledge will be applied to create new biological innovations in the lab. Our current focus is at the molecular level and utilizes data intensive DNA sequencing.

Eric Hayden and students in labEric Hayden and students in labEric Hayden and students in lab

Experience Gained

Students will be trained in molecular biology needed to collect data, and/or the computational biology and bioinformatic skills required to analyze this data. Specific skills may include in vitro transcription/translation, molecular cloning, Illumina library preparation, high-throughput DNA sequence analysis, computer programming languages (Python, Matlab, R), and machine learning.

Majors or Interests Needed

We’re looking for students with the one or more of the following majors or interests:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Data sequencing

VIP Coach Information

Hayden Lab LogoDr. Eric Hayden is Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology and runs the Hayden Lab. Full profile at

“The application of next generation sequencing technologies allows new insights into the process of evolution as it occurs in nature and the laboratory, and allows us to put theory to the experimental test. Recently, I have started a collaboration with Dr. Matt Ferguson (Physics) to conduct single-molecule fluorescence microscopy of RNA processing events inside living Eukaryotic cells. We are devising ways to produce never-before-seen footage of the inner mechanisms of Eukaryotic gene expression.”

Course Information

    • Full semester course. 1-2 credits for VIP  200, VIP 400, or VIP 500 level.
      Team meetings TBD by participants. Crosslisted with BIOL 479-003.

Here is how to join the team

For more information and to request a permission number to register contact Dr. Eric Hayden To register: search by Subject: Vertically Integrated Projects.