Gordân Among 2022 DST Spark Seed Grant Winners


The Office for Research and Innovation has awarded funding to nine best-in-class projects, including a GCB faculty member, for the inaugural Duke Science and Technology (DST) Spark Seed Grant program. This year’s winners include early- to mid-career faculty from across campus and the School of Medicine who were selected from a pool of 52 finalists for delivering innovative and creative ideas in pursuit of new directions and the enhancement of research and scholarship at Duke.

“As new scientific discoveries and breakthroughs continue to surface at Duke, we’re excited by the novel ideas that our faculty have for tackling the world’s most pressing challenges through research” said Jenny Lodge, Duke’s vice president for Research & Innovation. “The proposals of this year’s DST Spark Seed Grants winners embody how research can improve lives — and we look forward to each PI’s accomplishments over the next year.”

Biostatistics and Bioinformatics

Raluca Gordan, PhD

Project: Using Deep Learning To Train a Single-molecule DNA Sequencer to Accurately Identify DNA Lesions
PI: Raluca Gordan, Associate Professor of Biostatistics & Bioinformatics, Computer Science, and Molecular Genetics and Microbiology

Raluca Gordan is developing machine learning techniques for sequencing damaged DNA, which standard DNA sequencing technologies can’t handle. She hopes to use these techniques to better understand how proteins bind to damaged sites within the human genome and inhibit their repair, and whether this binding process gives rise to mutations that can lead to diseases such as cancer.

View the full list of winners on Duke Today.