Dan Bolser

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I am a bioinformatics student currently working as a post doctoral research assistant at the University of Dundee.

Dan at home

Research interests

I first became interested in bioinformatics because of the parallel between neural networks and metabolic networks.

When my older brother first introduced me to the internet (aged 15 or 16), I started to look up information about AI. Through this, I started to learn about Artificial Neural Networks. It wasn't until I started a degree in biochemistry that I fully appreciated protein molecules as computational elements in living cells. This was partly due to John Sparrow, who let me learn about the lambda phage and its lysis / lysogeny switch. This genetic regulatory system is the basis of the 'molecular decision' that the virus makes upon infecting the host.

I did my third year degree project on modelling the Lac operon using ODEs. On the basis of this I did a masters in bioinformatics. During my masters I worked with Jim Austin on a vague 'computational philosophy of biology'. I'm totally fascinated by evolution via self organization that apparently occurs at many layers in the (bio)universe.

These interests were really developed with the help of my colleague Jong Park. During the first year of my Ph.D we had many conversations on this topic. He also taught me a great deal about the responsibility of following an academic career.


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