Manfred Grabherr research group

Computational Genomics and evolutionary bioinformatics

In the wake of novel sequencing technologies, the past decade has brough with it a wealth of genomic data, providing an in-depth view on the genetic basis for life. However, many important questions remain unanswered, both with respect to the evolutionary forces shaping the coding regions of genomes as well as the functional relevance of non-coding and intergenic regions. The Grabherr Group is thus centered on developing and applying computational algorithms and methods to explore sequence data and answer a broad range of biological questions.

One of the corner stones of our work is the use of transcriptomics, i.e. the analysis of the repertoire of transcripts that are expressed in a cell or sample and/or under certain conditions. Such data can provide valuable insights into the function of genes as well as help guiding the search for unknown genes or understudied genomic regions. In addition, we are using comparative genomics to study the variation within populations as well as across species to understand how speciation may occur on a genetic level or to trace the evolutionary trajectory of genes, such as those implicated in diseases. Finally, we are working in close collaboration with other research groups to explore the interplay between regulatory mechanisms and expression, including the role of small non-coding RNAs in eukaryote cells via e.g. RNA interference and other forms of RNA processing.

To help us in our research, we are developing algorithms and methods for transcriptome assembly, protein characterization, whole-genome alignments, and RNA-RNA recognition site identification.