My group is especially interested in studying the role of chromatin 3D organization in regulating genome functionality. Our expertise is particularly focused on the use of 3D chromatin architecture data, obtained by Hi-C and other high throughput techniques derived from chromosome conformation capture (3C). We also use functional genomics data, mainly derived from transcriptomics and epigenomics techniques based on next generation sequencing (NGS).
We adopt these omics data to gain mechanistic insights into transcription regulation at different levels.
On a large scale, we investigate mechanisms for the coordinated regulation of large chromatin domains in physiological and disease conditions. These involve, for example, the organization of the genome in distinct structural domains, such as Topological Associated Domains (TADs), or Lamina Associated Domains (LADs).
On a finer scale, instead, we study distal regulatory elements (enhancers) and their epigenetic or genetic alterations in genetics diseases and cancer. In this context, we leverage chromatin 3D organization data to refine the association of distal regulatory elements and their target genes, to characterize the functional role of enhancers in epigenetics and gene expression regulation, within the broader gene regulatory network.
Ongoing projects include: