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Devin Camenares, Ph.D.

Since 2018, I have been an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry, and the iGEM Coordinator, at Alma College. I previously taught at Kingsborough Community College in NY, and earned my doctorate from Stony Brook University in 2013, working under the direction of Dr. Wali Karzai.

I am a (mostly) self-taught programmer. My bioinformatics story began in late 2012, while working on trans-translation in the Karzai lab. Since we knew that tmRNA and SmpB interacted, but weren't quiet sure how, I was curious to see if co-evolution between these two molecules could be used to pinpoint interacting residues. At that time, convenient tools for wetlab scientists with no coding experience were not readily available, especially not for calculating mutual information between two molecules of different types. I set about trying to solve this problem, first by creating an excel spreadsheet that carried out the calculations using a complex array of formulas (heavy use of SUMPRODUCT). My first tenure-track position (at KBCC) had limited resources for wetlab work, and so I leaned into these bioinformatics projects. This also helped to make use of a ghastly commute in NYC. Eventually, I learnt Javascript, PHP, and Java. It took several years for me to learn these languages and create these tools, by which time methods for co-evolution detection had improved. Despite playing catch-up to the field while learning to program, some of the features of the software on this site are unique and address some gaps in the field. That being said, I will not claim to have the prettiest code or the most efficient programs!

In the near future, I will provide links to my online CV, and additional places on the web where you can find me. Eventually, I will finish the tmRNA-SmpB co-evolution project!