Annie Yao

Statistics Major, Computer Science Minor

My research project is Integrating GWAS with NIFTI-Based Brain Imaging, where I work to write C/C++ software that can perform genome-wide association studies on voxels a brain image studies.

Why did you choose to come to SFU?

I had originally chosen SFU for its strong actuarial program, which was one of the few programs of its kind in Canada.

How would you describe your research or program to a family member?

This project aims to develop software that investigates whether specific traits or features we possess are linked to particular regions of our brain. Using brain images obtained through techniques like MRIs, the software assesses whether particular genes in the subject’s DNA might impact the physical characteristics examined.

What are you particularly enjoying about your studies/research at SFU?

One of my favourite things about doing research at SFU is working and talking with other people. Meetings with my supervisor, Dr. Elliott, and attending research journal clubs has helped me learn a lot every week. 

What advice would you give a student who is considering getting involved in undergraduate research?

My advice is to never hesitate to speak to professors whose area of research you may be interested in!