I am a postdoctoral scholar at the Center for Medical Genomics. My previous research focused on the co-evolution of microorganisms within vertebrate hosts. One of my recent research projects has shown that certain sourdough strains of Lactobacillus reuteri originally evolved as symbiotic microorganisms in vertebrate animals. This type of relationship between symbiotic microbes and animals also exists between mitochondria and humans, and this relationship is the focus of my present research. I am currently investigating the genetic variation of mitochondrial DNA between different human populations using the Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) and bioinformatic tools on the Galaxy platform. My goal is to discover how mitochondrial genetic differences correlate with different human populations in order to aid the development of personalized and preventative medicine.