IRTG2403 - Regulatory Genome

High-throughput regulatory genomics in the context of developmental systems

A key feature of early multicellular embryogenesis is that it consists of a branching process of essentially binary cell-fate decisions. In some cases, this involves the division of a cell into daughter cells with two separate, differentiated states. In other cases, one daughter cell retains pluripotency while the other becomes specified, as is the case for maintained stem-cell populations. These cell fate decisions are governed by regulatory interactions that underlie cell-type specific patterns of gene expression. Identifying the proteins and DNA regulatory elements involved in this process constitute a major aim of modern developmental genetics, but is complicated by the fact that developmental interactions occur within heterogeneous embryos and often involve cooperative, non-linear interactions between diverse proteins and DNA regulatory elements. These challenges are now being met by an increasing diversity of technical and computational approaches, including single-cell sequencing, CRISPR-based genetic manipulations, and improved computational modelling. Within this aim, we hope to leverage the technological and computational advances that are the subject of sections HG and CB to annotate, explore, and perturb the regulatory interactions involved in developmental cell-fate specification. In the process, we aim to train a set of graduate students who are well-grounded in the principles of classical developmental genetics but are prepared to tackle developmental questions using a wide-variety of modern genetic and computational techniques.


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