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Cei Abreu-Goodger

RNA Computational Genomics

Cei Abreu-Goodger

RNA Computational Genomics

Group website: http://ceiabreulab.org/


We are focused
on understanding the function and evolution of small regulatory RNAs, in particular microRNAs (miRNAs). These genes can potentially regulate the majority of protein-coding transcripts in a genome and are thought to have played a major role during animal evolution. The appearance of large numbers of new miRNA genes correlates with periods of increasing complexity, in early bilaterian evolution, and during the origin of vertebrates and placental mammals. Many human miRNAs are highly conserved in flies and nematodes, yet previous estimates have suggested that the majority of their target genes are not shared. This apparent contradiction raises interesting questions regarding the conservation of the function of miRNAs in different animal lineages.

In order to discover genes that are functionally responding to miRNAs across multiple organisms, we design computational algorithms to analyze large-scale microarray and RNA-Seq expression datasets. We also collaborate closely with experimental labs, helping to design experiments that directly perturb the function of one or more miRNAs. We then use a variety of new sequencing technology applications to discover the genes and pathways that are under miRNA regulation.


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