Jesse R. Walsh
I am a graduate student of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology at Iowa State University. My background is in Computer Science at Luther College, where I received my B.A in 2006. I am interested in using mathmatical models of metabolic networks to predict to predict cellular phenotypes. As a member of CBiRC, I use these models to help achieve our goal of creating a strain of the model organism E. coli which can produce biorenewable chemical feedstocks. My interests also include understanding how metabolic networks confer robustness onto an organism, allowing cells to survive in a wide variety of environments and conditions.
Discovery and learning have always been very important to me. Even as a child, I had a strong natural curiousity about the world around me. I have many memories of being absolutely fascinated the variety of plants and animals I was able to discover right in my neighborhood. Some of my fondest memories involved the many critters I was able to catch and study at my relatives cabin in Northern Minnesota.
Simply observing nature was never enough for me though, even when I was young. I wasn't satisfied until I could also identify the organism I was looking at and know something of its habits and interesting traits. While many kids my age would read popular novels, I would instead study my collection of Audobon nature guides so that I would be able to tell my friends and family about the next interesting rock, plant, or animal we came across.
To me, my continued higher education is the natural extension of my lifelong curiousty with biological phenomenon. Education is more than about simply learning the skills necessary to find a job. Education is about exploration, creativity, and personal growth. When I declared my intention to become a researcher in 2008, I also declared my intention to commit myself to a life of self-education.
I am naturally curious at heart, and for this reason I am driven to seek out new and exciting things to learn about. To me, everything I am exposed to is a chance to learn something I didn't previously know.