UQ Genomics Initiative is proud to announce that Professor Wendy Bickmore, Director of the MRC Human Genetics Unit at the University of Edinburgh, will be visiting UQ and will present a seminar 'the remote control of gene expression'.

The Remote Control of Gene Expression

Wed 7 Feb 2018 1:00pm2:00pm


Queensland Biosciences Precinct
QBP Building #80

Research in a Nutshell 

Despite its immense length, the linear sequence map of the human genome is an incomplete description of our genetic information. This is because information on genome function and gene regulation is also encoded in the way that the DNA sequence is folded up with proteins within chromosomes and within the nucleus. Our work tries to understand the three-dimensional folding of the genome, and how this controls how our genome functions in normal development and how this may be perturbed in disease. 

We take a multidisciplinary approach, using cytological, genetic, genomic and biochemical methods, as well as animal models, to understand genome spatial organisation and how it contributes to gene regulation. A prominent feature of our work is the use of visual assays to investigate how the genome is folded up. To do this we combine fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH) and digital microscopy with the use of automated image analysis software.

We examine the spatial organisation of human and mouse chromosomes and genes in the nucleus and how this organisation is changed, for example, during development and in certain genetic diseases. We use microscopy to follow the folding path of specific gene loci as they are activated or switched off, and to identify the proteins that bring about this folding. We also use the tools of synthetic biology to artificially control the expression or silencing of genes, to test our hypotheses.

MRC Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine, MRC Human Genetics Unit website