Associate Prof Andre Furger
Gene regulation in response to stress and disease progression
The cells in our bodies are repeatedly exposed to a variety of biological and environmental stresses. To fulfil their role in tissues, cells must be able to sense these stresses and respond with the production of an adequate repertoire of metabolites that enables them to adapt to the new conditions. Transcriptional reprogramming and post-transcriptional adjustments of noncoding RNAs and mRNAs in response to stress is central to this adaptation.
We want to understand the molecular mechanisms that enables mammalian cells to adapt to changing conditions and how failure to adequately respond to stress, can lead to disease. We are currently focussing on a variety of stressors including temperature and we want to understand how they affect gene expression at the transcriptional, co-transcriptional pre-mRNA processing and post-transcriptional level. To do this we use state of the art methodologies ranging from next generation sequencing and bioinformatics approaches to high resolution microscopy.