About me

I am a graduate student at the University of Maryland, College Park, working on Neisserial pathogenomics and commensal biology. I finished my medical degree (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) in India before coming here to do my PhD.

I am interested in genomics and translational research. Genomic data by itself was never meant to be of any use (by itself) in spite of all the hype generated by the public-private sparring over who gets to own the human genomic code. Craig Venter’s interview where he candidly admits that genomic data has given us nothing is one of the many examples of us having gotten nowhere with all the genomic data. However hypothesis-driven research in combination with a data-mining exercise like genomic research would be the killer approach. Large-scale data-mining is coming but slowly. EuPathDB is a great example. The deal-breaker would happen when someone like Google comes into genomic data analysis. , which is not far considering the way 23andme is growing. [23andme’s founder is Sergey Brin’s wife] Right now I am working on commensal biology with respect to Neisserial commensals, and the pathogenomics of Neisserial pathogens.

When I am not in the lab, I am either reading, designing or trying something new on my Ubuntu laptop or working out. And driving around. Great Falls is one of my favorite places. I also love the Skyline Drive along Shenandoah, VA.

I love writing! I am working on a series of short stories based on diseases and people. One of my favorite books is ‘When Nietzsche Wept’ (Thanks to one of my best friends Peter for introducing this book to me). The other books I loved reading are Fury, The Count of Monte Cristo and The Making of the Atomic Bomb. I LOVE listening to music. Check out my last.fm profile and my grooveshark profile for my latest playlists.

Check out some of my writings here: http://allpoetry.com/van_sheillnet.

Current reads: Fourth Paradigm and Microbe Hunters