Genetic Networks and Bioinformatics

Recent techonological advances have made it possible to look at biological systems at various so-called “-omics” levels. Not long ago, researchers would investigate the expression and function of genes one at a time. Nowadays, it is possible to look at all the genes, mRNA molecules, proteins and various metabolites produced by biochemical reactions within cells at once. These advances have given rise to a plethora of data that are often grossly underutilized in further experimental research.

nets

In our lab we are trying to change that, by combining publicly available data obtained from diverse experimental systems, sample types and through diverse technologies, to generate models of genetic interactions that we can later test in flies. One might reasonably argue that pooling data from several experimental systems may be misleading; but we are hoping to cash in on the fact that genetic functions tend to be conserved across tissues, developmental stages, physiological states and species, and thus distill small genetic pathways, modules and networks that were absent from any number of independent studies, but that emerge from their integration into larger networks.