Sample menu:

Research


I look at patterns of genetic variation to answer fundamental biological and evolution related questions. Based on these findings, I then develop statistical approaches that aid in discovery of causal loci and infer novel biology behind different diseases.

My primary research interests are in the areas of Evolution, Population/Statistical Genetics, and Bioinformatics/Computational Biology.

I am conducting my thesis research in the lab of Dr. Ben Voight. The title of my thesis is "Human Mutation/Substitution rate: Variability, Modeling and Applications." As a part of my thesis, I am finding best features that explain the variability in mutation rate and also model selection (Aggarwala and Voight, Nature Genetics, 2016). Based on these findings, I develop a framework to simulate, distribute and interpret de novo mutations in human diseases. Finally, I apply our results to several complex disorders like Autism, Congenital Heart disease, and monogenic diseases like Retinoblastoma, and find causal genes and infer diease biology.

I have previously rotated in Dr. Ben Voight's lab where I worked on detecting regions undergoing positive selection across multiple human populations from the 1000 genomes data. I was selected to give a presentation on my work at the 2012 Biomedical Student Research Symposium
I have previously rotated in Dr Mitch Lazar's lab where I worked on analyzing Glucocorticoid receptor's binding sites across different fat depots in different strains of mice.
I have previously rotated in Dr. Shelley Berger's lab where I worked on the Epigenetics of Aging project, and investigated the signature of chromatin modifications in senescent and proliferating cells. I also learned a fair amount of bench work (Cell culture, ChIP, qPCR). This work was published in Genes and Development journal.
During my transition from Computer Science to Genomics, I was extremely lucky to work in Dr. Li-San Wang's lab, where I worked on finding the best biomarkers for early stage detection of Alzheimer's disease. I analyzed a lot of clinical MRI/Lumbar puncture data to find the best biomarkers for Alzheimer's Disease prediction. I also worked on finding copy number variations from exome sequencing data.
In my past life as a computer science undergrad and master's student, I have worked on probabilistic model checking, multi-view based machine learning methods, and on finding semantic relations between words from giant datasets. 
My undergraduate thesis was on Bisimulation relations and Probabilistic Model Checking.