Biology major Dave Fisher had the opportunity to present his research on H1N1 at the Evolution 2010 conference hosted by the Department of Biology at Portland State University on June 25-29.
While working on his bachelor’s degree at UVU, Fisher has also been taking classes at BYU in the bioinformatics program during the past year. This provided him with experience in programming and biology to draw upon for his H1N1 research. Fisher has put hundreds of hours into coding, reading scientific papers, writing his own research paper and spending time contemplating his overall project.
“Research is great because it takes the silly hoops you jump through in college classes and makes them into something real. As it turns out, I can go and independently work on a project I am fascinated with and actually get somewhere. I wouldn’t call my work significant to the scientific community yet, but I have expectations for continued research,” said Fisher.
To help build focus and movement forward with his research, Fisher began working closely with Dr. T. Heath Ogden from the biology department last fall.
“While my swine flu research falls distinctly outside Dr. Ogden’s field of study, he was especially invaluable in helping me find the Evolution 2010 meeting and getting the necessary departmental support [grants] to fund my trip to Oregon,” said Fisher.
With only a few hours for his presentation, Fisher stood with his poster and explained to professors, scientists and graduates his research on H1N1.
“He was by his poster for two hours and he had a really good response. For an undergraduate, I think he did a really good job, where the majority of other posters were grad students or professors. This experience has allowed him to meet some of the leaders in the field and contact some faculty as potential graduate school advisors,” said Ogden.
As a bonus to his own accomplishment, Fisher will be a second author to Ogden’s research for writing the computer program that processes over 15,400 datasets.