PITTSBURGH, Pa. — Ocean Genomics has been awarded a grant by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) for the implementation of an internship program designed to increase the accessibility, inclusion and diversity of underrepresented communities in genomic and transcriptomic open-source biotechnology projects.
The award will allow Ocean Genomics to provide opportunities to women, BIPOC, and LGBTQ+ individuals to participate in improving open-source projects used for quantifying gene expression. Gene expression analysis compares the RNA expression levels of multiple genes in samples under various conditions. Such analyses can provide insight into variations in gene expression between healthy and diseased samples and enable the discovery and validation of multidimensional biomarkers for disease. Interns supported by this award will extend and develop new use cases for software called Salmon and Alevin, which are two widely used packages for quantifying the amount of expression from bulk RNA-seq and single-cell RNA-seq, respectively.
“These internships provide the opportunity to develop deep scientific coding skills while gaining practical experience in a biotech organization and developing stronger professional networks, and at the same time they strengthening our work advancing transcriptomic analysis software with new skills and perspectives.” said Carl Kingsford, CEO, Ocean Genomics.
The award will directly support the creation of several paid internship opportunities for undergraduates in computational biology, software engineering, and machine learning. The internship program will provide the mentoring necessary to enable selected candidates to participate in making significant contributions to these popular open-source RNA-seq analysis tools. Interns will have opportunities to develop their academic and professional networks while working at Ocean Genomics and interacting with partners and collaborators.
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to develop this internship program. This means a lot to me personally, and I look forward to helping create opportunities and representation that ripple out long past the life of any single project.” said Maya Bishop, Project Manager at Ocean Genomics.
Ocean Genomics is adamant about ensuring the biomedical open-source community is a welcoming and accessible space for all contributors. We understand that there are often systemic barriers for underrepresented communities to participate, and we are committed to actively making space for their voices and contributions to be recognized in this field.
About Ocean Genomics
Ocean Genomics’ AI-driven intelligent transcriptome platform and empower discovery and translational research. The company was founded by authors and inventors of several leading new-generation transcriptome analysis applications used by tens of thousands of researchers world-wide with over 1,500 citations. Ocean Genomics works to speed and improve drug development through its advanced transcriptome analysis methods.
About the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative was founded in 2015 to help solve some of society’s toughest challenges — from eradicating disease and improving education, to addressing the needs of our local communities. Our mission is to build a more inclusive, just, and healthy future for everyone. For more information, please visit www.chanzuckerberg.com