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Jake VanCampen

Undergrad: University of Portland
Internship: Stowers Institute
Currently at: Oregon Health & Science University

How did you find yourself at Oregon? What about the program attracted you?

I was weighing my graduate school options and found the BGMP attractive because I saw the potential for career flexibility, and knowledge growth in an area I was interested in: computational science.

What was the intensive summer like for you?

Fast-paced. Learn by doing, fail lots. This learning style fits my personality, so I felt stimulated. It was great preparation.

Where was your internship?

The Stowers institute in Kansas City, MO.

What was your internship like? What are you responsible for? What is a typical day like?

I worked in the Genomics Core, where instead of being dedicated to one project or a specific team, we worked with multiple labs at the institute to address their bioinformatics needs. For example, I built computational pipelines to investigate chromatin accessibility and genetic variation in the blind cavefish.

Do you feel the program prepared you for the internship? In what ways?

The didactic portion of the program prepared me for the internship by focusing on key bioinformatics concepts, and core biological context. Mainly, I felt empowered by learning how to ask questions and explore data programmatically.

How did your internship prepare you for your current position/career path?

My internship prepared me for my current position by exposing me to the demand for bioinformatics and allowing me to work on a number of projects in parallel. This is important, many bioinformaticians I know are working on multiple projects all the time.

Do you have any advice for prospective students?

Write lots of code. Aim to write code that can be easily reused by others, including yourself. Try doing things you already know how to do in multiple ways, for example in multiple programming languages.