Genomic Analysis and Interpretation Training Program Fellowship

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Lajoyce Mboning

Graduate student Lajoyce Mboning (Bouchard/Pellegrini groups) has been awarded a Genomic Analysis and Interpretation Program (GATP) Fellowship for 2024-25.

Mboning is a third-year chemistry and biochemistry, theory and computation graduate student conducting research in the groups of Professor Louis Bouchard and Professor Matteo Pellegrini. She received her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of California, Davis, in 2020. 

Mboning’s research has been in advancing our understanding of aging through the development of novel epigenetics and transcriptomic clocks. In particular, she has been at the helm of developing BayesAge, a framework that predicts individual age based on epigenetic markers. Looking ahead, she aims to extend BayesAge for reference-free age predictions, promising enhanced adaptability across diverse populations and species. This innovative approach aims to minimize biases inherent in traditional clocks, resulting in more accurate age predictions and revealing novel epigenetic patterns associated with aging. These findings may unveil new biological markers or pathways relevant to the aging process.

The Genomic Analysis Training Program is funded by a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant and supports UCLA pre-doctoral students whose goal is to conduct research in genomics. The program is designed to ensure that students who have demonstrated academic achievements and show research potential in genomics analysis obtain an adequate biological, computational, and statistical foundation to succeed in this interdisciplinary field.

An awarding committee decides who receives the award. The program currently only has 10 students in the program.                                               

Each year, the Genomic Analysis Training Program provides its trainees with stipends and funding for academic fees. The grant also provides support for travel to a yearly National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) research and training conference.

GATP participating faculty represent a multidisciplinary approach to genomics including: biological chemistry, biomathematics, biostatistics, cardiology, chemical engineering, chemistry and biochemistry, human genetics, molecular and medical pharmacology, pathology and laboratory medicine, and pediatrics.

Penny Jennings, UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry,