Technical Lead, DNA Barcode of Wildlife Project, Smithsonian
Mike Trizna has been working on DNA Barcoding for the Smithsonian since 2006, when he started as a summer intern. Mike has an undergraduate degree in Biology from Virginia Tech, but even though he had a fascination for molecular biology, he knew that lab work was not for him. To that end, he went to grad school at Virginia Commonwealth University to study bioinformatics -- so that he could process and analyze data that other people generated in the lab. Mike's current work involves developing open source software tools that help to connect data about a specimen (such as when and where it was collected) with sequence data from these samples, so that this can be published to DNA sequence databases and shared with the public. Mike became involved with the Barcode of Wildlife Project as its technical lead when it was launched 3 years ago. The Barcode of Wildlife Project is an initiative to combat endangered wildlife trafficking with DNA barcoding technology.