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David Melamed
Graduate Student

Hello everybody! I am a native New Yorker who spent the last seven years living in Los Angeles, before deciding to come back to the city for the Columbia graduate program. Throughout the course of my undergraduate education, I worked in the laboratory of Dr. Andrew Diener. Our lab focused on the host-parasite relationship between the fungus Fusarium Oxysporum, and the model plant line Arabidopsis. I was responsible for numerous projects with this group, including the comparison of DNA using bioinformatics to differentiate between a pathogenic and an innocuous line of the fungus. Computational techniques allowed our group to isolate a particular gene for further study as a candidate for a virulence factor.

The sheer awe and wonder behind scientific inquiry was the greatest driving force in my decision to pursue a career in this field. While I am interested in other fields of science, personally there is nothing more fascinating than studying life and the mechanisms behind it. I am interested in studying genetic development; the process by which individual cells choose their fate is one that I greatly wish to understand further. With this information, there is no telling how many lives could be greatly improved.

In my spare time, I enjoy playing music, reading, and writing. I am very excited to be back in New York, and even more so to embark on this PhD program with my fellow classmates. I cannot wait to get to know all of you! I am looking forward to all of the challenges and triumphs ahead of us.

David Melamed
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