Summer as a Research Student

Summer 2014

Armin Rouhi

Schulich Leader at University of Calgary

Another challenging, yet extraordinary semester came to an end. After two years of school as a Bioinformatics student, I had the opportunity to directly apply the material I learned in the classroom to a research project with real-world applications.

In the past two months, I have been working on a research project on parasitic worms’ immune system, under Dr. James Wasmuth’s supervision. The unique aspect of this project is that it requires much of the knowledge I had learned in immunology, computer programming, genetics have all been critical to my understanding in this project.

Infections by parasitic worms affect people, livestock, and wildlife. Therefore, understanding the parasitic mechanisms is an important step towards tackling the problem. The goal of the project is to identify proteins that allow the parasite to survive in the host system and avoid detection. By understanding the parasite’s immune system, it may be possible to develop novel therapeutic options.

Working in Dr. Wasmuth’s lab this summer has been an invaluable and enjoyable experience. I have gained knowledge and experience that I would not have been able to achieve in classroom alone, and I’m truly excited to continue working on the project in the upcoming months.