Artem Babaian, Ph.D. Computational Biologist | Freelancer

RNA-based Lifeforms

My passion is in the study of the interface between RNA and Genetics. Life's most fundamental gene, ribosomal RNA, is the catalyst for protein synthesis. I am defining the functional genetic (and epigenetic) sequence variation in human ribosomal RNA, and it's impact in human disease.

RNA Genetics


I am first and foremost a geneticist, I understand life through the prism of a gene. As the genetic code led to understanding protein coding genes, I am interested in deciphering the structure and function encoded in non-protein coding genes.


My research has extensively utilized high-performance computing. In developing customized and modular bioinformatics pipelines, I can efficiently process high-dimensional data into its essential features for beautiful visualizations and statistical analysis in R.

Current Projects

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Serratus: Ultra-deep Coronavirus homology search

  • Project Lead

The characteriziation of the Coronaviridae family is sparse. We are re-analyzing _all_ public RNA-seq data (1.12 million libraries, 5.75 Petabytes) to uncover new species of coronavirus and improve our phylogenomic understanding of this family.

Project page Video intro (1:59)
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macpΨ rRNA modification is widely lost in human cancer

  • Project Lead

Ribosomal RNA is the fulcrum of the central dogma of molecular biology. I discovered a highly cancer-specific single nucleotide variant (which was an RNA hyper-modification) in almost half of colorectal carcinoma patients.

Cell Reports Paper Video Summary
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hackseq: Genomics hackathon

  • Co-founder
  • 4x Organizer
  • 3x Team Leader

hackseq is a bioinformatics hackathon focused on genomics. Over the past 5 years we ran innovative and collaborative events in partnership with the American Society of Human Genetics, the RNA Society, 10X Genomics, Google, and Amazon AWS. In 2017, I led my team to victory with our project, bioSyntax.

Check out hackseq Check out bioSyntax

Curriculum Vitae