Dissertation Defense Announcement:
To:  The George Mason University Community

Candidate: Sean D. Smith
Program: PhD Bioinformatics & Computational Biology 

Date:   Tuesday August 2, 2011
Time:   11:00 a.m. 
Place:  George Mason University
 	     Bull Run Hall, Room 247
	     Prince William campus
Dissertation Chair: Dr. Patrick Gillevet
Committee members: Dr. Lakshmi Kumar Matukumalli, Dr. Huzefa Rangwala, Dr. Gloria Solano-Aguilar

Title: "Investigating the Intestinal Microbiome and Its Host Relationships 
in Ossabaw Pigs"

The dissertation is on reserve in the Johnson Center Library, Fairfax campus.
The doctoral project will not be read at the meeting, but should be read in advance. 
All members of the George Mason University community are invited to attend.

With the advent of next-generation sequencing in recent years, scientists are able to
produce large amounts of microbiome and metagenome relative abundance data. 
Statistical methods have been developed to analyze this data. 
However, in some instances, it is not clear which statistical method is appropriate. 
Also, methods are needed for investigating microbiome and metagenome relationships with a host. 
This dissertation describes research focused on three objectives: 1) determine appropriate statistical methods for detecting
differential abundance in microbiome and metagenome datasets, 2) develop tools and techniques for identifying and comparing correlation
networks, and 3) use methods from objectives 1 and 2 to analyze an Ossabaw pig dataset.