Stark Lab

Understanding transcription regulation

The regulation of gene expression in response to developmental or environmental stimuli is a crucial mechanism in all organisms. We are fascinated by the question how transcription is regulated at the level of the two key types of regulatory genomic elements — enhancers and core-promoters — and the transcription factor and cofactor proteins that mediate transcription activation. We follow an interdisciplinary approach, using genome-wide functional assays, bioinformatics, biochemistry, and mass-spectrometry. We develop and employ highly-controllable reporter assays that provide a reliable functional readout for each of the questions we ask, while circumventing the many confounding issues that exist in complex gene regulatory systems in vivo. Our goal is to understand transcription and — ultimately — how transcriptional networks define cellular and developmental programs.

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