Date: Tuesday, 3 May 2016, 10 am (Manila Time)


All cells in our bodies encode the same genetic information yet different sets of genes are expressed in a given cell type to give it its particular identity. My laboratory studies how transcription factors (TFs) recognize genomic DNA to regulate when, where and to which level genes are expressed to direct cell fate decisions. We use structural modelling and quantitative biochemical assays to study TF dimerization on composite binding elements enriched in regulatory DNA sequences. By combining biochemical assays with the bioinformatics analysis of deeps sequencing datasets (ChIPseq and RNAseq) we aim to decipher the ‘enhancer code’ regulating gene activity. We utilize our insights to engineer synthetic TFs (sTFs) that program cell fates fast, efficiently and in a controlled fashion. Using this cross-disciplinary approach, we could previously convert a TF that normally regulates the formation of tissues like the gut into a highly potent inducer of pluripotent stem cells. I will discuss on-going projects with a focus on efforts to identify DNA sequence preference of TF dimers in vitro as well as during cell fate conversions.

ralf_jauchDr. Ralf Jauch

Principal Investigator
Professor Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health Chinese Academy of Sciences
190 Kai Yuan Avenue, Science Park510530, Guangzhou, China

About the Speaker

Ralf Jauch, Dr. rer. nat., is a Professor at the Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health, Chinese Academy of Sciences. He started his academic career at the Friedrich-Schiller-University in Jena, Germany studying Archaeology, Psychology and Biology. After a year as exchange student at the University of Manchester, UK, he joined the newly established International Max-Planck Research School ‘Molecular Biology’ in Göttingen, Germany, where he received his PhD degree in 2005 studying protein structures. In 2006, he joined the Genome Institute of Singapore, A*STAR, as a PostDoc and Research Scientist for seven years. There, he met and made friends with scientists from the Philippines who introduced him to the UP Diliman and other institutions in the country. In 2013, he moved to the Pearl River delta in southern China to set up his own laboratory. He is a recipient of the 100 talent award of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (2014), the Larysa Pevny award for excellence in SOX research (2014) and was named state high-end foreign expert of China in 2015.

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