Bioinformatics and Gene regulation
Bioinformatics uses methods from informatics, mathematics and statistics for analyzing molecular biology data, for example from microarray experiments, DNA sequencing or proteomics.
The research group for Bioinformatics and Gene Regulation works in particular on development and use of bioinformatic methods for analyzing gene regulation, but the group is also involved in the analysis of other types of data, in particular genome data from various bacteria. The group is associated with the local core facility for bioinformatics and the national network for infrastructure in bioinformatics, ELIXIR.no, where it provides research based support to other researchers and research groups.
The expression of genes is regulated by several important mechanisms, including binding of transcription factors, interaction with non-protein-coding RNA molecules, DNA methylation and histone modification. Transcription factors are proteins that recognize short DNA motifs in the genome. They bind to motifs that are associated with specific genes, and contribute to regulating the gene expression up or down. This is in turn regulated by DNA methylation and by histone modification. Histones are proteins that the genome wraps around, and modification of these histones is linked to several regulatory processes. In addition will different types of non-protein-coding RNAs contribute to the regulation; genes where the production of a protein is not a requirement for activity. This creates a complex interplay between several regulatory components, and it is this interplay that we are trying to understand. The knowledge is used towards different diseases, including cancer.
The research group is also involved in studies of bacterial genomes, in order to understand disease-causing bacteria, and to find genes that make proteins with new and exciting properties (bioprospecting), among other things.
The research group has close collaboration with Department of Computer and Information Science, as well as with national and international research groups. The research group is also involved in international meetings, in particular Regulatory Genomics Special Interest Group and Computational Methods in Systems Biology.
Bioinformatics & Gene Regulation
Department of Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine
Norwegian University of Science and Technology