Pre-doctoral school in QUANTITATIVE BIOLOGY

July 10th- 21st, 2017 | IFOM, Milan - Italy

Computational genomics

Course description

-Second week module-

All the cells in the human body contain almost identical genomes. Yet they differentiate to approximately 200 cell types, performing distinct functions and constituting specific organs and tissues. This is possible because the genome contains the full set of instructions (genes) governing the living organism, but each cell type selectively uses only a specific portion of them. Genome functionality is controlled primarily by epigenetics and transcriptional regulation mechanisms.

The completion of the human genome project along with several technological advancements, allowed the development and widespread adoption of genome-wide experimental techniques over the past fifteen years. In particular, nowadays a plethora of methods based on high throughput sequencing of DNA allows characterizing transcriptional and epigenetics regulation at unprecedented resolution and throughput. This unanticipated explosion in sequencing data has established genomics as one of the most "data intensive" sciences, thus pushing forward innovations also in related quantitative fields, including computer science, statistics and biophysics.

In this module we will experience first-hand computational data analyses techniques to extract information from functional genomics data obtained with high-throughput sequencing methods. We will integrate information concerning transcription, epigenetic and the three-dimensional folding of the genome to understand how these multiple layers regulate genome functionality.


Francesco Ferrari

IFOM, The FIRC Institute of Molecular Oncology Foundation

Invited Teachers:

Dr. Rosa obtained his PhD in "Statistical and Biological Physics" in 2003 from the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) in Trieste (Italy) with a work on the Statistical Mechanics of Polymer Physics applied to DNA. He then moved to the Ecole Polytechnique Fédèrale de Lausanne (Switzerland) where he developed a quantitative model for describing the spatial distribution of telomeres in yeasts. Soon after that, he moved to Germany (Max-Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems, Dresden) and Spain (Institute of Biocomputation and Physics of Complex Systems, Zaragoza), where he specialized working on quantitative modelling of chromosome behaviour by employing polymer physics. Since 2012, he is Assistant Professor in the "Statistical and Molecular Biophysics" Group at Sissa.