GENOME BIOLOGY LAB
In our lab we are interested in understanding the function of DNA repetitive elements in the epigenetic regulation of the transcriptional response of the cell. In particular, we are asking whether DNA repeats could influence the inter-individual variability between humans in terms of response to environmental cues, adaptation and predisposition to human diseases. DNA repeats cover almost 70% of the human genome, and their function was largely ignored for decades. Nevertheless, there are emerging evidences of the peculiar role of repeats in regulating the epigenome. The work of our team may provide important mechanistic information and novel interpretation of how specific non coding DNA functions may directly influence cellular processes, such as differentiation, genome integrity, cellular plasticity and disease. Ultimate goal is to demonstrate that evolutionary acquisition of such elaborated fine modulation of transcription represent an added value for mammalians, and humans in particular, to react to environment, adapt to stress, and eventually predispose to better or worse outcomes in disease progression.