The team

Guillaume Filion, team leader

curriculum vitae

The greatest thing about being a biologist today is that we can finally address one of the most fundamental questions about life: what is biological meaning? If we understand how information is encoded in DNA, we are far from understanding the meaning of that information. Our team works on regulatory sequences, their evolution and their activity in different contexts. In other terms, we want to understand how non coding DNA is decoded.

Heng-Chang Chen, post-doc

看不見,可是你依舊存在 is a famous article written by Ching-Kuo Chiang in Taiwan, which means “You exist even though you are invisible”. The same is true about latent HIV-1, lying dormant in various reservoirs, awaiting to revive. Nowadays, latency has become the main roadblock to the development of a cure for HIV-1. My project is to map latent HIV-1 integrations in a high throughput setup. I call the output of this technology “marauder maps”, because they expose the position of every silent HIV-1 integration. I am also interested in data visualisation and scientific illustration.

You can visit my personal page to find out more about me.

Marc Corrales, PhD student

With the advent of genome-wide, high-troughput technologies, we can for the first time look at genome architecture and gene regulation without losing the forest for the trees. My research interest is trying to understand how the text works in context, i.e how the 98% non protein-coding DNA in our cells is able to regulate the 2% protein-coding DNA to produce the most dynamic and complex system we know so far. Currently I am involved in studing the role of Black chromatin in silencing gene expression with the TRiP technology developed in our laboratory.

Arantxa Rosado, technician

There are many layers of information encoded in the genome. The DNA sequence, the epigenetic marks and the chromatin context are the main players of the gene regulation machinery. To investigate the role of each of these factors in the process we are developing a new technology TRiP (Thousand of Reporters in Parallel). Using TRiP we can monitor the expression and localization of reporters integrated at different loci in the genome. Would the chromatin invade the reporter or would it preserve its own identity? This questions and others will be hopefully answer soon :-)

Eduard Valera, bioinformatician

Since the first draft of the human genome was published, we realized that our genes comprise only 2% of the full sequence. We need to understand the remaining 98% to explain crucial cell mechanisms such as cell differentiation or transcription regulation. Most of this non-coding sequences follow complex logics that lie beyond human understanding. Besides, there seems to be relevant information encoded in the structural and spatial conformation of the genomes. My role in the lab is to design algorithms and computational methods that help us understand how these mechanisms are regulated.

Catalina Romero, post-doc

For decades we have relied on a linear representation of the genome, overlooking how this two-meter long polymer folds in space and fits into a micron-sized nucleus. Today we know that its 3D configuration is not random, but organized into a dense maze that is navigated by other nuclear passengers. What are the principles that govern the three-dimensional architecture of such maze? And how does genome architecture contribute to gene regulation? Using live cell microscopy I am investigating the interplay between genome architecture and transcription factor navigation.

Ruggero Cortini, post-doc

The complexity and beauty of life has always fascinated me. As a physicist, the fine organization of living matter - spanning all scales from molecules to organisms to ecosystems - seems to me out of the reach of human comprehension. However, we now for the first time have the opportunity to understand more about the biological reality, having access to more and more detailed information on every level of its organisation. I am interested in understanding how basic physical principles, from the atomic scale to the scale of the cell nucleus, translate into biological meaning. I study the effect of physical interactions on the conformation of DNA and proteins in the cell, seeking to make a connection to gene expression and regulation.

Alumni

Ricky Lim

Student (2012-13)

Catarina De Oliveira

PhD student (2012-14)

Olivera Vujatovic

Post-doc (2012-15)

Victoria Pokusaeva

Technician (2014-16)

Pol Cuscó

PhD student (2013-17)