Baskin School of Engineering graduate students Jordan Eizenga and Sutirtha Sengupta are this year’s recipients of the prestigious Jack Baskin and Peggy Downes-Baskin Fellowship.
The Fellowship will ensure that these UC Santa Cruz engineers have the resources they need to conduct important research in two very different areas. Eizenga and Sengupta are both thrilled to receive recognition and funding for the work they are doing.
Jordan Eizenga studies biomolecular engineering and bioinformatics and has been working with his advisors David Haussler and Benedict Paten on the Human Genome Variation Map, a project that aims to catalogue genomic variations that exist within the human population, resulting in a graph-based human reference genome structure. The Human Genome Variation Map will be the first comprehensive taxonomy for human variation.
Eizenga studied mathematics and political science at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. After graduating, he developed an interest in computer science and worked as a software engineer before becoming interested in biology. At UC Santa Cruz, he found he could combine his multidisciplinary skills to work on his current project at the very place where the original human genome was sequenced.
“This is a great place to be doing this kind of research. We have a deep history working with genomes, including the original assembly of the human genome, done in the Haussler lab, and the UCSC Genome Browser, one of the major tools of informatics in biological data that’s used by biologists on a daily basis,” Eizenger said.