Associate Professor

Jesse Gillis

Department of Molecular Genetics


Medical Sciences Building
3247 Medical Sciences Building, 1 King's College Circle, M5S 1A8
Research Interests
Bioinformatics and computational biology, Cell biology, Chromosome biology, Developmental biology, Epigenetics and epigenomics, Evolution and phylogenetics, Functional genomics and systems biology, Gene regulation and expression, Neuroscience, Rare diseases, Single cell and spatial biology

Research in my lab aims to understand the flow of information from the genome to whole-organism biology through modelling and analysis of functional genomics data. This research is broadly integrative across modalities, systems, and even species but also integrative across levels of organization, using molecular processes within cells to understand how and why cells diversify and how that diversity in turn affects organism phenotype.

As functional genomics data has continued to increase in abundance and specificity, my lab has benefited strongly from the opportunities to provide organizing frameworks, deeply grounded in both biology and statistical insight. We have been particularly interested in determining base vocabularies to compare quite disparate data with the goal of better exploiting conservation as a central principle to understand function in physiological systems. For example, by comparing human data to that from other species, we are able to establish which genomic features robustly contribute to variation at the molecular, cellular, and organismal levels.

Current projects include: Understanding neuronal cell types, Signature of epigenetic individuality, Cross-kingdom co-expression, X chromosome variability, Gene function learning, Chromatin contact meta-analysis

Courses taught

  • PSL445H


  • Department of Physiology
  • Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research