2013 Poster Sessions : Transcriptional Networks Underlying Development

Student Name : Jim Notwell
Advisor : Gill Bejerano
Research Areas: Artificial Intelligence
Cell differentiation and cell determination are the fundamental processes in the development of a multicellular organism. They are achieved through a combination of cell intrinsic and extrinsic events that alter the transcriptional regulatory program of the cell to produce a novel gene repertoire that propagates cell fate and function. Transcriptional regulatory program changes are executed by transcription factors and chromatin state remodelers to ultimately control which genes are expressed, at what quantities, and for what duration. The advent of chromatin immunoprecipitation and related capture technologies coupled with deep sequencing (ChIP-seq) allows us to obtain whole genome maps of active enhancers through development, and beyond. The study of enhancers provides several advantages: First, it reveals a sizable layer of genomic susceptibility to disease that extends beyond protein coding sequence, and has remained almost invisible hitherto. Second, because enhancers integrate signals from upstream transcription factors and signaling pathways, enhancer maps can unravel the causality of gene expression and developmental processes. Here, we apply our functional and computational genomics expertise to identify sets of enhancers and to incorporate the enhancers into function-specific gene and enhancer networks.

Jim Notwell is a graduate student in the Computer Science Ph.D. program at Stanford University. He received a B.S. in Computer Science, summa cum laude, from the University of Notre Dame in 2010. He is pursuing his interest in applying computational tools to biological problems in the lab of Gill Bejerano.