Ricardo D'Oliveira Albanus
Computational Methods to Dissect Tissue-Specific Landscapes of Transcription Factor and DNA Interactions
The intricately ordered structure of the human genome is a product of dynamic interactions between DNA and proteins such as nucleosomes and transcription factors (TFs), which allow cells to respond to environmental changes while maintaining robustness of genetic programs. Changes in the non-coding genome can affect gene regulation and lead to increased disease predisposition, but the underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. Therefore, understanding how the genome is organized and regulated is a central question in biomedical research. My dissertation aims to develop and apply novel computational methods to understand general biological mechanisms of genome regulation, with a focus on TF-DNA interactions.
This work represents a novel fusion of two research domains - information theory and genomics - which allowed to capture properties of TF-chromatin interactions, with important implications for gene regulation, cell state dynamics, and understanding the pathological mechanisms associated with non-coding disease-associated genetic variants.