Research in the Moses Lab
The research projects we pursue typically weave together many threads from disciplines such as evolutionary genetics, systems biology, machine learning, sequence analysis, computer vision, and more. The projects we have pursued over the years reflect the diverse interests of the graduate students and postdocs who worked in the lab. Below is a listing of the main themes that define and guide many of our research projects. For a complete picture of the work that we’ve accomplished, please visit our Publications page.
Evolution and Dynamics of Regulatory Networks
Most complex cellular processes are carried out by groups of genes working together in so-called pathways or networks. We seek to understand how these networks are encoded in genome sequences, how they create dynamic biological phenotypes, and they are created by evolution.
Microscope images are big data
Automated microscopy has made it possible to measuring protein abundance and subcellular localization in millions of single cells. We are developing computational tools to extract basic biology from huge collections of microscope images without have to look at each one.
Molecular Evolution of Disordered Regions
Intrinsically Disordered Regions (or IDRs) are enigmatic protein regions that are involved in a wide variety of biological processes. Although they are widespread, they usually show little evolutionary conservation. Is this rapid evolution a sign that they are just “junk” protein, or do they facilitate evolutionary diversity? This question is also of medical relevance: when we find mutations in patients’ IDRs we currently cannot tell what impact (if any) they are having.
Beautiful bioinformatics for genomics and proteomics
Complete sequencing of genomes is now routine, and yields thousands of genes and proteins, and information about the genetic differences in populations. All of this data needs to be organized and analyzed: bioinformatics!