Luc Blassel’s PhD project (funded by PRAIRIE – supervision O. Gascuel) is to apply machine learning techniques to the analysis of sequence data. Traditional sequence alignment and analysis methods might not be able to perform as well as expected, with the ever growing amount of high quality sequence data. One of the goals of this project is to use deep learners to contextualise aligners. We aim for this method to allow for more accurate alignments, which are at the heart of all comparative biology analyses. Luc also aims to use machine learning directly for sequence analysis, and is applying this approach to the study of the drug-resistance landscape in HIV-1. He will also apply similar methods to study the impact of HIV-1’s ASP gene on virulence [Cassan et al. PNAS 2016].