Brianna Tylec.

Brianna Tylec is a graduate of the master’s program in genetics, genomics and bioinformatics who works in the lab of Laurie K. Read, PhD.

Brianna Tylec, MS

Brianna Tylec is a graduate of the master’s program in genetics, genomics and bioinformatics.

She works as a research technician in the laboratory of Laurie K. Read, PhD, professor of microbiology and immunology.

Why did you choose UB for your graduate program studies?

UB is the largest and most reputable research institution in the Western New York area. Going to UB provided me with the opportunity to study at a respected research university while also living with my family at the same time.

What specifically attracted you to the GGB program?

During my undergraduate studies at SUNY Geneseo, I learned to code using R and learned about bioinformatics as a fresh field, bridging biological research with computational techniques. My aptitude for coding and interest in genomics and the career path of bioinformatics led me to choose the GGB program.

What has it been like to work with Dr. Read?

Dr. Read is a phenomenal mentor. She has done a great job teaching me the process of rigorous scientific thinking and also has guided me well on producing strong manuscripts for publication. She has high, but not unreasonable standards and has always been supportive and understanding when difficulties arise.

What are the main areas of your research?

In the Read lab, we study the neglected tropical pathogen, Trypanosoma brucei. In layman’s terms, I research how the parasite regulates its gene expression. Its cellular biology is quite different from commonly studied eukaryotes such as yeast and mice. We study some of the unique processes T. brucei uses to allow it to parasitize its human and other mammalian hosts.

What are the potential public health benefits of your research?

The better we understand trypanosome biology, the more information we have at our disposal when it comes to designing drugs for treating parasitic infections. 

What are your main responsibilities within the Read lab?

As the primary bioinformatic specialist in the lab, I process and analyze our RNA sequencing data. I’m responsible for maintaining and utilizing the lab’s custom sequence alignment tool, TREAT, which we use to study the way trypanosomes modify their mitochondrial RNA. In addition, I take the insights we receive from our RNA sequencing analysis and write research manuscripts for publication. I also perform molecular biology experiments to complement and validate our bioinformatic findings.

What are your career goals and how has your time at the Jacobs School prepared you?

I’d like to continue working as a bioinformatics analyst supporting researchers or move into industry work. My time at the Jacobs School has given me the opportunity to learn new things, improve my skills and demonstrate that I’m capable of being a valuable member of a research team.