Eran Segal

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Weizmann Institute of Science
Segal, Eran

Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Prof. Segal leads a multi-disciplinary team of computational biologists and experimental scientists working in the area of Computational and Systems biology.

Prof. Segal received several awards for his work, including the 2007 EMBO young investigator award, and the 2007 Overton prize by the International Society for Bioinformatics (ISCB), an award that is given to one scientist a year, in the early to mid career stage, for outstanding accomplishments in the field of computational biology. He published more than 80 research articles in peer-reviewed journals, of which more than 20 appeared in Science, Cell, or Nature (and its sub-journals). Prof. Segal was recently selected as a member of the young Israeli academy of science.

Thu July 11 | 2:00 - 4:00 | Parallel Session
ABSTRACT: Unraveling principles of gene regulation using thousands of designed regulatory sequences

Genetic variation in non-coding regulatory regions accounts for a significant fraction of changes in gene expression among individuals from the same species. However, without a ‘regulatory code’ that informs us how DNA sequences determine expression levels, we cannot predict which sequence changes will affect expression, by how much, and by what mechanism. To address this challenge, we developed a high-throughput method for constructing libraries of thousands of fully designed regulatory sequences and measuring their expression levels in parallel, within a single experiment, and with an accuracy similar to that obtained when each sequence is constructed and measured individually. Using this ~1000-fold increase in the scale with which we can study the effect of sequence on expression, we designed and measured the expression of libraries in which the location, number, affinity and organization of different types of regulatory elements has been systematically perturbed. Our results provide several new insights into principles of gene regulation, bringing us closer towards a mechanistic and quantitative understanding of which how expression levels are encoded in DNA sequence.