In virtually all organisms, the genome functions as a highly-encoded self-extracting program. The combined action of the gene products not only directs the molecular reactions that form the organism but also serves to interpret the genome itself. In the human genome alone, genome sequencing and comparative genomics have revealed thousands of new genes, including hundreds of potential DNA-binding proteins, and roughly a million conserved noncoding elements with no known function, many of which are likely to be regulatory features. These observations underscore the complexity of gene regulation, but also provide a starting point for describing how genomes function on a global basis to orchestrate biology at the molecular and cellular levels.
We are employing diverse technologies to identify, study and map properties and relationships among individual functional units in the genome. Projects in the lab encompass gene expression studies in organisms ranging from yeast to mouse, experimental identification of functional units in the genome sequence, global analysis of DNA binding and RNA processing activities, and genome-scale characterization of proteins via the construction of extensive reagent collections. Most of our work utilizes microarray technology and involves computational data analysis. We collaborate extensively with groups at the University of Toronto, elsewhere in Canada, and internationally.
Chair and Graduate Chair, Department of Molecular Genetics
Canada Research Chair in Decoding Gene Regulation
John W. Billes Chair of Medical Research