Pirita Paajanen

Computational Biologist


I work as a computational biologist in the Clark Group using the latest sequencing technologies for genome assembly. I have used Illumina, PacBio, Dovetail and BioNano for the assembly of S. verrucosum, a wild Mexican potato. I am interested in mathematical aspects of genomics, in particular, population genomics of polyploids, and building theoretical models that could explain their resilience and adaptation. I am also interested in questions relating to randomness within biological systems.

My first job in bioinformatics was in the Durbin group in the Sanger Institute, where I studied ancient human DNA. My university education is in pure mathematics at Oxford and Cambridge. For my DPhil in Oxford, supervised by Marcus du Sautoy, I studied group theory and number theory.