Project Overview

Computational Modeling of the Vertebrate Segmentation

Faculty Sponsor

Ahmet Ay (


Computer Science


Spatial pattern formation is critical for the survival of living organisms. On the other hand, precision of timing is essential during embryonic development. Vertebrate segmentation is a unique case of pattern formation as it combines both spatial and temporal control: the precursors of spatially repetitive vertebrae segments are periodically generated by a gene regulatory network called the vertebrate segmentation clock. This yet-to-be discovered gene regulatory network controls the vertebrate segmentation during embryonic development. In this project, we will identify this gene regulatory network. To that end, we will utilize an interdisciplinary approach to combine experimentation (will be performed by Ozbudak lab at Albert Einstein College of Medicine) with mathematical modeling and computer programming (will be performed by Ay lab at Colgate University).

Student Qualifications

Programming skills from COSC 102 (Introduction to Computing II). Having taken Operating Systems (COSC 301) is preferred.

Number of Student Researchers

2 students

Project Length

10 weeks

Applications open on 01/15/2017 and close on 02/07/2017

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If you have questions, please contact Karyn Belanger (