Oliver Snow ‘13

PhD Candidate, Department of Computer Science, Simon Fraser University

Oliver’s Question: What is the relationship between brain and behaviour?

Keystone Title: Blue Collar Science: Building my own genetic photocopier

Abstract: DNA is key to life on our planet, controlling a cell’s function by controlling the proteins that it expresses. Research has been done on DNA since its discovery in 1869, but the understanding of DNA has skyrocketed since the 1980s. This Keystone aims to address the lack of access to PCR and DNA analysis technology by designing and building a thermal cycler from scratch using inexpensive and available materials, showing how this technology may become available even given a minimal budget.

What Concentration Courses did you take?

Statistics I
Calculus 1
Abstract Algebra
Learning and Memory
Sleep and the Brain
Drugs and Behavior
Techniques in Molecular Biology
Advanced Techniques in Molecular Biology
Developmental Psychology

What are some of the things you did outside the classroom?
I interned in the Lloyd Smith Research Lab in the chemistry department at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. I worked on a project to build a mass spectrometer from scratch to use for teaching purposes.

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