Gregory Vurture

Research Interests

I started working in the Schatz Lab as part of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory's Undergraduate Research Program. Since then, my work has focused on the development of a mathematical tool that can characterize genomic complexity from sequence data. This tool, GenomeScope, is an open-source web tool to rapidly estimate the overall characteristics of a genome, including genome size, heterozygosity rate, and repeat content from unprocessed short reads. Establishing these characteristics in advance can reveal if the analysis methods (mapper, de novo assembler, or SNP caller) are not capturing the full complexity of the genome, such as underreporting the expected number of variants or not assembling a significant fraction of the genome. While experimental methods are available for determining some of these characteristics, they can be expensive and laborious to perform. We have demonstrated the accuracy of GenomeScope on 340 simulated and real datasets with a wide range in genome sizes, heterozygosity levels, and error rates.

Previously, I contributed to an on-going project in the lab of Juan Marcos Alarcon at SUNY Downstate Medical Center's Summer Research Program. This study dealt with whether or not different contextual experiences change synaptic activity in the CA1 region of the rodent hippocampus. I analyzed how the synaptic activity of mice that have not experienced a change in environment (not removed from their home cage) and have not learned a spatial memory task compares to untrained mice (removed from home cage without spatial memory task) and trained animals (removed from home cage and taught a spatial memory task) via in-vitro electrophysiology.

About Me

I am currently a medical student at New York University School of Medicine as part of the class of 2020. I completed my undergraduate coursework at New York University where I studied mathematics and computer science from 2010 to 2014. During my time between undergraduate and medical school, I continued working on GenomeScope, volunteered at Cohen Children's Medical Center with the Sunrise on Wheels Program, and worked a full time job as a medical scribe for CityMD Urgent Care. The culmination of these experiences are what influenced me to pursue a career as a physician and demonstrated my desire to help those who are most in need.

As for my nonacademic interests, I have a strong passion for martial arts. I have been practicing martial arts for almost twenty years. I have a first degree black belt from Tiger Schulmann's Mixed Martial Arts, where I continue to train in kickboxing, submission grappling, and traditional karate. I believe that martial arts provide valuable skills that promote physical and mental health. I also enjoy going for long runs and bike rides.

Gregory Vurture
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
One Bungtown Road
Koch Building 1124
Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724

E-mail: gwv203 <at>