UM stands out for educational excellence

I’m proud to be a signatory on a guest column in today’s Missoulian, which highlights the terrific educational atmosphere and excellent research found on the University of Montana campus. Despite trying financial times resulting from an enrollment drop caused by multiple complex factors, this University is home to a great many tremendous educators and researchers.


Pilot grant to reduce error in sequence annotation

The Wheeler lab has been awarded competitive pilot project funding through the University of Montana Center for Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics (CBSD). The grant will support early development of methods for reducing false sequence annotation of large genomic DNA datasets due to repetitive sequence and alignment overextension, and will fund two students in our group for the next year. CBSD is supported by a National Institutes of General Medical Science (NIH NIGMS) IdeA program Center of Biomolecular Research Excellence (CoBRE) Phase II grant.





Congratulations to Gillia Patterson

Congratulations to lab member Gilia Patterson, who today was recognized as the University of Montana Outstanding Senior in Genetics and Evolution. Gilia has done great work with me on understanding sources of transposable element mis-classification (manuscript coming soon to a theatre near you), and we’re happy as can be for her!

Student receives fellowship for summer 2016

Alex-NordAlex Nord has just been awarded a Center for Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics Graduate Student Fellowship for the summer of 2016. The fellowship will support Alex while he continues research on using spaced seeds to boost both speed and sensitivity in the context of database search with profile hidden Markov models (in HMMER, of course).

Read more at:

RNAcentral now uses nhmmer for searches

RNAcentral is an open resource that provides a unified platform for accessing non-coding RNA sequences from a broad range of ncRNA databases. Anton Petrov has just announced a 3rd release. Along with a slew of new features, RNAcentral is now powered by our nhmmer which they’ve found to be more sensitive than Exonerate. They’re using the recently-released HMMER3.1b2, a stable beta release that implements our new accelerated DNA search based on seed finding with the FM index data structure (I’ll describe that here once we get the paper submitted … soon). Exciting days.