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Jorge Eduardo Avila Cartes

Dipartimento di Informatica, Sistemistica e Comunicazione

A journey into DNA from the other side of the world

My name is Jorge Avila, I am from Chile and I majored in Mathematical Engineering at Universidad de Concepcion, Chile. After graduating, I spent 3 years working for a telemedical company solving problems related to electrocardiograms and radiographs with deep learning approaches. I am currently an ESR of the MSCA-ITN ALPACA project.

My name is Jorge Avila, I am from Chile and I majored in Mathematical Engineering at Universidad de Concepcion, Chile. After graduating, I spent 3 years working for a telemedical company solving problems related to electrocardiograms and radiographs with deep learning approaches. I am currently an ESR of the MSCA-ITN ALPACA project.

This project consists of developing computational tools to work with large collections of genetically related sequences (DNA, RNA), known as Pangenomes.

In my project, I study alternative repre s e n ta t i o n s of sequences (like images) that can be used with learning approaches to tackle some problems that arise in the field, like classification of DNA sequences and the identification of most relevant parts that allow sequences to be related or differentiated.

What fascinates you about this project?

First, to be involved in a cutting-edge field and the potential that the tools we will develop could contribute to studies in medicine that can improve life quality and possibly save lives. Second, the intrinsic nature of genetic data pushes you to go deeper in the computational and mathematical knowledge, but also in the technologies that are required to either generate or process this kind of data. Lastly, I am involved in a field that, from my perspective, has a great potential to be approached with crazy and unconventional ideas.

Moreover, the involvement in an ITN project is giving me the opportunity to know different countries, languages, and cultures, starting with Italy, where I already have experienced amazing cuisine and history. Academically speaking, a great advantage is being involved in a different educational system and the possibility to work with people from different fields and countries.

DNA

How do you think the involvement in this ITN project will boost your future career?

I will acquire knowledge of a field that is still growing, and certainly will take much more relevance in the next future, which is certainly one of the bigger opportunities that this ITN project offers. Finally, I am on a bridge that joins biology and mathematics, where I have the possibility to turn beautiful ideas into relevant applications, so I expect to be able to propose pioneer ideas to the field of Pangenomics.

 

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 956229

Jorge Eduardo Avila Cartes

Dipartimento di Informatica, Sistemistica e Comunicazione

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