CBQG Student Story: Lana Awad

Computational Biology and Quantitative Genetics (CBQG) master’s student Lana Awad was recently featured in the Harvard Gazette where she discusses her path from Syria to America, her desire to learn more about genetics and genetics disorders after her own experience with a genetic vision disorder, and her interest in eventually returning home to Syria to influence health care policy. 

Since it could be years before she returns to Syria and they have adequate facilities for lab research, Lana decided to focus her studies at Harvard Chan School on computational biology­—which requires only a computer. “In this way I will be able to work from anywhere because I don’t need to rely on infrastructure.” 

In the CBQG program, Lana has been learning how to analyze and manage large-scale public health data—“big data”—in biomedical research, and has also studied statistics and epidemiology. In the lab of Curtis Huttenhower, she has worked on computational methods to predict the functions of unknown genes in the vast human microbiome—the millions of microbial genes that live inside the human body.

Read more of Lana’s story here.