New Starter: Rosa Martinez Corral
Please join us in welcoming Rosa Martinez Corral, who started on 2nd January as the first Collaboratorium Independent Fellow.
Rosa has joined the Collaboratorium from Harvard Medical School, where she was a postdoctoral EMBO Fellow. Below is a brief overview of their research:
Biological function emerges from dynamically interacting molecules and cells at multiple levels of organisation. Given this complexity, studying a biological process requires us to choose a subset of components to focus on (“system”) and abstract away the rest into the so-called “context”. My goal is to find effective, rigorous and general ways to grapple with context in our conceptual and mathematical models of biological systems, without including all molecular details. From this perspective, we will interrogate specific problems in regulatory biology, aiming to reveal fundamental biological insight that increases our predictive ability on living organisms.
As a starting point, we will work on gene regulation. Classical mechanistic models of gene regulation have focused on binding interactions between transcription factors, the DNA and the transcriptional machinery at thermodynamic equilibrium. From this perspective, the context-specific effects of transcription factors are interpreted in terms of what molecules are recruited in a given context. We aim to provide a richer view based on the dynamics of the interactions between the various elements involved and their emergent behaviour, with a particular emphasis on chromatin-related regulatory effects. Our work will combine theoretical approaches based on biophysical models, deep learning models and quantitative data analysis.