Applying AI in the genetic studies of cerebral palsy

Tuesday, April 23, 2024
Kritika Grover and Murto Hill working on their laptops together

Kritika Grover (left) and Murto Hilali (right) using AlphaFold AI algorithm on their laptops to visualize genes and predict how they could influence symptoms of cerebral palsy.

Waterloo co-op students earn opportunity to contribute to SickKids research

Two co-op students from the Faculty of Science have made a big impact during a recent work term at the SickKids Research Institute. Murto Hilali and Kritika Grover are using AI as a tool to understand cerebral palsy — and their efforts have earned them recognition as contributing authors in an upcoming paper published in Nature Genetics. 

The paper, titled  Comprehensive whole-genome sequence annotation to elucidate the genetic architecture of cerebral palsy, focuses on the computational modelling of genes associated with cerebral palsy. Using the cutting-edge AlphaFold AI algorithm, the study dives into the intricate details of specific gene variants, aiming to unravel the mysteries surrounding this neurological condition. 

Hilali is a fourth-year student in the Biotechnology/Economics program, while Grover is a fourth-year student specializing in Biochemistry with a minor in Computing. Their journey began when Hilali, early in his co-op term, was assigned the task of understanding how AlphaFold (an AI program that performs predictions of protein structure) could be applied to study specific gene variants. His findings coincided with gaps in an ongoing paper, leading his supervisor to invite him to contribute his expertise to the project.  

To learn more, please visit the original article Applying AI in the genetic studies of cerebral palsy by Sarah Fullerton on Waterloo News.