Cardiovascular genomics

We study the gene regulatory processes taking place in cell types playing a role in the development of atherosclerosis. Using state-of-the-art next generation sequencing methods we interrogate the role of transcriptional, post-transcriptional and translational regulation in driving the cellular response to proatherogenic stimuli such as inflammation and oxidized phospholipids. This includes identification of genomic regulatory elements such as enhancers that specify the cell identity. Modelling of the dynamics of enhancer activity based on enhancer RNA expression and interrogation of the chromatin interactions originating from them is hoped to lead to better understanding of the functions of these regulatory elements in disease progression.  As vast majority of natural genetic variation (SNPs) identified by genome-wide association studies lie within enhancers, ultimately our data will be used to interpret the role of enhancer variants across atherosclerosis-relevant cell types.