Bowen combines biology and math interests into award-winning genetics research

Danielle Bowen came to Cornell with interests in math and biology and left with a prestigious scholarship and solid grounding in the cutting-edge area of statistical genetics. She says her eyes were first opened to the burgeoning field in Bioinformatics, a computer science course taught by Andy Wildenberg.

Danielle Bowen: "I have always been fascinated by DNA, but did not realize what burgeoning fields statistical genetics and bioinformatics are."

She later joined Wildenberg for computer-based genetic research on bacterial mRNA and also performed wet-lab research on fire coral genetics with biology professor Craig Tepper. And during her senior year she spent a block researching the genetics of renal disease in diabetics patients at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) in Phoenix, supported by the Dimensions Program and a Cornell Fellowship.

“Being able to spend all day at TGen for weeks at a time was exceedingly helpful for making career decisions,” she says. “Without the block plan, I would not have been able to take advantage of the opportunity at TGen during the school year.”

Cornell’s One Course At A Time schedule also enabled a focused independent study of computer tools used in statistical genetics under Wildenberg’s guidance.  During this class, she also attended a four-day conference in Philadelphia focused on the interface between statistics, computing, and systems biology.

“The class was very specialized to my interests and gave me a lot of tools to use when I start graduate study,” she says.

Bowen earned a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship for her achievements at Cornell. She is now pursuing a doctoral degree in genetics and statistics at Iowa State University.