Genomic Analysis Laboratory
Genomic Analysis Laboratory and Center of Excellence for Stem Cell Genomics
Gene expression is an intricately coordinated event. The spatio-temporal regulation of gene expression is controlled at several levels. I focus on four facets - the genomic, epigenetic, transcriptional and post-transcriptional layers of gene regulation. As a computational biologist, I analyze genomics data generated by high-throughput technologies in an effort to uncover these molecular connections, with special focus on human health and disease.
I conceived and am leading a project to accurately assess mitochondrial heteroplasmy. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) tend to accumulate somatic variations. The balance of wild-type versus mutant mtDNA within cells is a major factor underlying neurological and other disorders, cancers, differentiation and aging. We envision that these studies will open new horizons in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the numerous mitochondria-related disorders. This work is part of Salk AHA-Allen Institute Center for Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease (more info here).
I am also the lead Investigator in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) project Epigenetic CHaracterization and Observation (ECHO) where our work is focused on single cell DNA methylation profiling of various blood cell types from samples exposed to various biological and non-biological agents. I also lead another DARPA-funded project called Measuring Biological Aptitude (MBA) program which is focused on methylation profiles of cell-free DNA and single cell analysis of DNA methylation in blood from military and non-military personnel. In an earlier project we used base-resolution, high-throughput bisulfite sequencing to discover tissue specific methylation signatures that are correlated to gene expression.
I also play a lead role in the activities of the recently established Center of Excellence for Stem Cell Genomics (CESCG). This center, funded by the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), aims to foster collaborations with stem-cell biologists in the state of California and the two nodal CESCGs (at Salk Institute and Stanford University). We have initiated several interesting projects, which "apply genomics and bioinformatics approaches to stem cell research to accelerate fundamental understanding of human biology and disease mechanisms, enhance cell and tissue production and advance personalized cellular therapeutics."
For more information on my research activities (including past research) and background, please visit my website by clicking here»
For full (and current) list of publications, please click here.