Expand elements of a bioinformatic tools used to store, track, visualize and interpret disease and vector species occurrence data

Robert Hanner (IB)
Lorna Deeth (Math & Stats)

Vector-mediated diseases are a serious impact on both animal and human health. These diseases can be potentially tracked through both vector and host. This proposed project will expand on past work completed in Hanner Lab at the University of Guelph by previous bioinformatics students. Currently, we use biosurveillance quantitative PCR (qPCR) data for vector species and vector-mediated disease and dynamically visualize these data using R and the R shiny package (MDMAPR). Further elements are needed for this program and could include the addition of security elements, possible mobile device implementation, the inclusion of statistical analyses in the program, the addition of standardized report generation capabilities, and/or the use of standard curves to ensure qPCR data are accurately reported and used.

Motivated candidates will gain a larger understanding of the complexities of platform needs and design, including balancing the challenges and advantages to partnering with currently available data platforms and formats. The student will also gain an appreciation of data formats between platforms and an understanding of the data storage needs of government, academic, and industrial/NGO research groups. The successful candidate will be expected to help direct the work by providing input into potential choices and direction for informatics subprojects related to past work and future potential. The expectation is the completion of one or few informatic subprojects under the larger umbrella of a data platform. Ultimately, these subprojects will be chosen based on the strengths of the student, input from the student, the outcomes from literature review and background survey, the recommendations of advising faculty, and project needs. It is hopeful that the right candidates may have the opportunity to begin the project early on a part time basis.