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Computational Study of Genomic and Epigenomic regulation of Gene Expression [Research Assistantship]

Department: Physics
Professor Weiqun Peng

Project Description: Recent revolution in genome technology has ushered us in an era of high-quality high-throughput quantitative genomics data, opening up new dimensions in the understanding of biological systems. My group employs data-driven approaches (data mining, machine-learning) to study genomic and epigenomic regulation of gene expression, working closely with leading experimental groups in the respective fields. This project aims to characterize the biological significance of intron retention, one of the key forms of alternative splicing in eukaryotes, in gene regulation and cellular function. Our preliminary work in human CD4+ T cells demonstrated that regulated intron retention coupled with mRNA degradation might serve as a novel post-transcriptional regulatory mechanism underlying T cell activation. In this project, we will 1) explore intron retention-mediated regulation across diverse immune cell types and in human cancer; 2) characterize the molecular mechanism underlying intron retention at the sequence, epigenetic and network level; 3) examine how regulated intron retention coordinates with other regulatory modes to achieve expression robustness and plasticity.

Duties: Seeking motivated students who are enthusiastic about learning and cutting-edge research. Strong programming skill is necessary. Knowledge in biology is a big plus. Duty involves 1) Tailor and apply existing code to large functional genomics data sets 2) Develop novel analysis tools for genomics research

Time Commitment/Credits: 7-9 hours per week; 3 credits

To Apply: Send cover letter and resume to wpeng@gwu.edu