Josh Wetzel

PhD student, Computer Science, Princeton University.
Research in Mona Singh's lab.

Research Interests

I do research in computational biology and bioinformatics. I am interested in biological interactions at the molecular level, and generally anything related to figuring out more about how cells "know" what to do and when to do it. My current research is focused on better understanding the regulatory roles of proteins containing Cys2His2_Zinc_Finger (C2H2-ZF) domains. Although this domain is highly abundant in complex organisms, and many C2H2-ZF proteins are known to bind DNA specifically both in vitro and in vivo, DNA-binding specificities of these proteins have been particularly hard to characterize experimentally. My goal is to further our understanding of the determinants of C2H2-ZF protein-DNA interactions via computational methods that incoporate data obtained from unbiased physical interaction screens and other genomic data sets. In the past, I have also done research to explore the theoretical limitations of using shotgun sequencing data to build accurate de novo genome assemblies.

Previously ...

I received my BS in Computer Science from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, where Rajiv Gandhi was my undergraduate mentor. I also held a summer undergraduate research internship position at the Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, University of Maryland, College Park, under the mentorship of Mihai Pop and Carl Kingsford .


Anton V. Persikov*, Joshua L. Wetzel*, Elizabeth F. Rowland, Benjamin L. Oakes, Denise J. Xu, Mona Singh, and Marcus B. Noyes. A systematic survey of the Cys2His2 zinc finger DNA-binding landscape. Nucleic Acids Res. 2015; 43(3):1965-1984.
*Contributed equally as co-first authors.

Henry C Lin, Steve Goldstein, Lee Mendelowitz, Shiguo Zhou, Joshua Wetzel, David C Schwartz, Mihai Pop. AGORA: Assembly Guided by Optical Restriction Alignment. BMC Bioinformatics 2012;13:189.

Joshua Wetzel, Carl Kingsford, Mihai Pop. Assessing the benefits of using mate-pairs to resolve repeats in de novo short-read prokaryotic assemblies. BMC Bioinformatics 2011;12:95.


Princeton Universty
Department of Computer Science
35 Olden St.
Princeton, NJ 08540