Functional and Evolutionary Genomics of Regulatory RNA



More about us:

Dr. Selene L. Fernández Valverde

Principal Investigator

The recent advent of genomic information fostered by the invention of high-throughput sequencing has unveiled a plethora of regulatory molecules, including a large number of non-coding RNAs – RNA molecules little or no protein-coding potential. Many of these RNAs have important functions as modulators of gene expression.
In our group, we study the evolutionary dynamics of non-coding RNA molecules using a variety of plant and animal species with diverse evolutionary scales. We use bioinformatics and genomic data to understand the evolution of these molecules and the regulatory mechanisms in which they participate.

Research lines:

  • Comparative genomics of syntenic regions that generate long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) to characterize their evolutionary dynamics.
  • lncRNAs evolution in regeneration processes and embryonic development in plants and animals.
  • Identification of functionally homologous structural modules in lncRNAs.
  • Identification of lncRNAs associated to cardio-metabolic syndromes in Mexican human populations.

Recent projects:

  • “International Rising Talents”. L’Oréal-UNESCO 2018.
  • "The evolutionary dynamics of long non-coding RNAs and chromatin structure in plants". The Royal Society, Newton Advanced Fellowship 2017.
  • “Validation of the existence of protein-binding domains in a long non-coding RNA.” L’Oréal-UNESCO-CONACYT-AMC Fellowships for Women in Science, Mexico (2016).

Most relevant publications:

Recent publications:

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Dr. Selene L. Fernández Valverde

Principal Investigator

"My research focuses on genomics and bioinformatics. My core academic interest is contributing to the understanding of the mechanisms involved in the wide phenotypical diversity present in the animal and plant kingdom. I’m particularly interested in the role of non-coding RNAs in the evolution of regulatory landscapes within and between species"

Ing. Mayra Imelda Flores Barraza

Administrative Assistant

Dr. Francisco Javier Pérez de los Santos


“Experimental Characterisation of Conserved structures in long non coding RNAs. Mi project aims at experimentally studying secondary structures and protein-RNA interactions in long non coding RNAs (lncRNAs) predicted to be conserved by computational methods”

M. Sc. José Antonio Corona Gómez

PhD student in Plant Biotechnology

"My project is focused on the identification of evolutionary conservation of the lncRNA structure in Brasiliaceae using bioinformatic tools and comparative genomics”

Francisco J. Falcón Hernández

Master’s student in Integrative Biology

"My project focuses on the study of two species of axolotl using comparative genomics to better understand the regeneration process. I’m particularly interested in non-coding RNAs and their role in the maintenance of pluripotency (in codirection with Dr. Alfredo Cruz)”

Luis Jordan Perez Medina

Master’s student in Plant Biotechnology

"My project is focused in identifying co-expressed RNAs in specific human tissues that can share functions, with the purpose of identifying conserved structural domains"

Irving Jair García López

Master’s student in Plant Biotechnology

“Using bioinformatics, we’re looking for long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) that are regulating the elongation of specific plant organs (hypocotyls and cotyledons), in response to low light availability during a very common phenomenon among plants called neighbor proximity, using Arabidopsis thaliana as a model"

Rene Alexander Ramos Díaz

Master’s student in Integrative Biology

“Application of machine learning methods for data analysis and simulation of biological processes, EvoDevo and evolution of multicellularity”

Jesús Emiliano Sotelo Fonseca

Undergraduate student

“Studies how the spatial conformation changes in the genome during development and under different experimental conditions. He evaluates bioinformatic tools that identify changes in the tridimensional structure of the genome from capture data of chromosomal conformation (Hi-C)”

Jaime Alejandro Pérez Patiño

Undergraduate student

“Works on the analysis of pipelines for the detection of structural conservation in long non-coding RNAs to determine which bioinformatic strategy produces the best results when compared with experimental data”

Andrés Kaufmann

Undergraduate student

“He analyses different genotyping arrangements from humans with the purpose of identifying which are better for identifying variants in mestizo populations (in codirection with Dr. Andrés Moreno)”