I am a physicist and theoretical biologist, and currently work at Children’s Cancer Research Institute (CCRI) in Vienna, Austria as a postdoctoral researcher.
Although I am still curious about diverse natural phenomena and dedicated to their scientific understanding (and teaching), most of my own research revolves around a fundamental phenomenon of life: gene regulation, i.e. how amount and timing of gene expression (RNA and protein: functional molecules of the organism itself) are adjusted. I am especially interested in mathematical and biophysical understanding of regulatory mechanisms and factors determining the characteristics of gene regulation in developmental and evolutionary time scales. In order to achieve this ambitious aim, I try to position myself at the intersection of i- mathematical & biophysical modelling, ii- quantitative experimentation and iii- computational data analysis.
My current research, conducted in close collaboration with experimentalists Eleni Tomazou and Heinrich Kovar at CCRI, and bioinformatician Christoph Bock at CeMM, focuses on Ewing sarcoma disease, a bone and soft tissue cancer dominantly seen in childhood and adolescence. We aim at a deep molecular understanding of this disease by focusing on the epigenetic reprogramming by EWS-FLI1 which is the defining fusion mutation and the master regulator of this disease leading the cells into a cancerous gene regulatory state. I also keep my research interest in evolution of transcriptional regulatory sequences which I studied during my PhD under supervision of Nick Barton and Gasper Tkacik at IST Austria.
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