• Washington University (2017)

  • Computational and Systems Biology

  • Barak A. Cohen, Ph.D.

  • Design Principles of Enhancers During Rod Photoreceptor Development

  • Ryan.friedman@wustl.edu


Enhancers are non-coding sequences that modulate spatiotemporal gene expression, which ultimately determines cellular identity. Although enhancers play an important role in orchestrating development and are frequently implicated in disease, we lack a fundamental understanding of the properties (design principles) that define a functional enhancer. Using rod photoreceptors as a model system, I couple Massively Parallel Reporter Assays with computational models to guide the design of future experiments. These experiments learn how cis-regulatory sequence features and interactions with trans-acting transcription factors influence enhancer activity. With an understanding of enhancer design principles, we can elucidate developmental processes, interpret non-coding disease-associated variants, and engineer useful synthetic sequences for gene therapy or bioengineering.

Graduate Publications:

Friedman RZ, Granas DM, Myers CA, Corbo JC, Cohen BA, White MA. 2021 Information content differentiates enhancers from silencers in mouse photoreceptors. Elife, 10():e67403.

Choudhary MN, Friedman RZ, Wang JT, Jang HS, Zhuo X, Wang T. 2020 Co-opted Transposons Help Perpetuate Conserved Higher-Order Chromosomal Structures. Genome Biol, 21(1):.

Last Updated: 5/17/2019 9:19:57 AM

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