Department of Molecular Mechanisms of Disease, Science Faculty and Vetsuisse Faculty. University of Zürich
Systems biology of gene regulation
What defines the identity of a cell? How is the same genetic code used to build more than 200 different cell types with distinct physiological and morphological properties? These fundamental questions drive our enthusiasm for understanding how information processing is regulated at the level of chromatin modifications and DNA sequence. We aim to answer these questions by dissecting how interactions between transcriptional or chromatin regulators and the genome are specified, and how these interactions impact chromatin and transcription during biological processes. Towards this we combine various experimental and computational strategies, including genome and epigenome engineering, genome-wide studies, proteomics, single-cell measurements and computational modelling. We use mouse embryonic stem cells and their differentiation to neuronal cells as our main model system. This integrative approach allows us to understand gene regulatory mechanisms in a quantitative and functional manner.