Damien Lekkas

Hometown: Wenonah, NJ USA

Undergraduate institution: University of Pennsylvania

Undergraduate major: BA, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

My research interests are: I am actively involved with projects that leverage machine learning and statistical methodologies to analyze and/or predict mental health outcomes with the hope of contributing to an improved understanding and treatment of psychiatric disorder. Specifically, I am interested in applying a diverse repertoire of computational tools to study the behavioral and social complexities of suicidal ideation and intent.

Thesis advisor: Nicholas C. Jacobson

Links Advisor's Lab: Jacobson Lab

Research in Progress Title or Thesis Title?: Misery’s Company: Modeling the Evolution and Transmission of Suicidal Thought and Behavior in the Digital Era

Career track: Both Industry and Academia

I have technical expertise in : Computational Python, R, Bash/Shell, Cytoscape, Excel/VBA, Geneious, IGV, ImageJ, MOE, Prism, SAS Wet Lab 1D DNA/protein electrophoresis, DNA/RNA isolation and purification, qPCR, Western Blot, protein expression and purification, immunohistochemistry, EM/confocal/light microscopy, tissue dissection/microdissection, cryosectioning, primer design/testing, ELISA, bacterial transformation, mouse handling and colony management, protocol development

Other professional accomplishments of note:

PREVIOUS WORK EXPERIENCE: University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine 2017 - 2019: Research Specialist/Technician in Circadian Rhythm & Metabolism University of Pennsylvania Department of Biology 2014 - 2016: Research Specialist/Technician in Ecology & Evolution of Disease Systems University of Pennsylvania Department of Biology 2013 – 2019: Biology Instructor/TA Undergraduate courses in Vertebrate Anatomy, Vertebrate Physiology, Organismal Biology, Evolutionary Biology, and Biostatistics

I chose QBS because: As someone with academic and professional training across multiple scientific disciplines, I am interested in pursuing a doctoral degree in a program that allows me to draw from my diverse education and research experiences. Through the combined lens of anthropology, biology, and computer science, I want to design and apply quantitative and computational methodologies to tackle important problems in biomedicine. Given the highly interdisciplinary and integrative nature of the QBS program, the vast opportunities to evolve as a scientist capable of working at the interface of several related fields has made Dartmouth and especially the QBS program the perfect choice for me."

Recreational Interests: I am outside enjoying nature, or at home playing retro video games.