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Dec. 23, 2005
CONTACT: Ward Mullens
734.487.4400
ward.mullens@emich.edu

EMU joins elite company with first graduates in bioinformatics

YPSILANTI - Eastern Michigan University became one of only two schools in the state to award a master’s degree to students in the field of bioinformatics at its commencement ceremony Sunday, Dec. 18.

            “We are very proud of these five students. They are the first to receive this type of degree from EMU,” said Ben Keller, coordinator of EMU’s program.

            Keller said there are only two other schools in the state that offer a master’s degree in bioinformatics, Grand Valley State University and University of Michigan. Only the University of Michigan has had graduates.

            Bioinformatics is the use of computers in biology to help manage data, Keller said. EMU started it’s program in 2004 with the help of a $50,000 grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

            The thing that sets EMU’s program apart from others, said Keller, is that EMU’s program combines the science with business skills.

            The five students receiving degrees are: Henry Kwan, Pratima Naik, Nupur Pande, Usha Reddi and Zuoshuang Xiang.

            Pande, of New Deli, India, found EMU’s program after earning a bachelor’s degree in computer science and a bachelor’s degree in biology, both from the University of Texas.

            “I looked around and EMU was one of the few to offer the program,” said Pande, who recently landed a job with Asterand as a biotechnology analyst.

            “My undergraduate and graduate degrees really laid the foundation for my getting the job,” she said. Pande said the specialization of EMU’s program really helped her because it trained her specifically for bioinformatics and business.

Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their careers and lives, and to be better citizens.

 

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Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.

Editor's Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU's Eastern Experts online at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts.


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