The Bienko Lab at HT aims at understanding the design principles and mechanisms that shape the spatial arrangement of DNA, RNAs and proteins in the nucleus of mammalian cells. We investigate how the three-dimensional (3D) architecture of the genome instructs and/or is instructed by fundamental processes including DNA replication, transcription, and repair. We are particularly interested in understanding how the constituents of chromatin are spatially arranged, and which factors and mechanisms mediate the spatial organization of chromatin in the nucleus. We are also interested in understanding how mutations and genomic alterations associated with prevalent disorders like cancer form in the context of the 3D genome and, in turn, how they perturb the 3D genome structure and functions to exert their pathogenic effects. To this end, we go beyond state-of-the art by developing novel (single-cell) sequencing and microscopy methods, as well as novel mathematical modeling approaches. In this way, we put our creativity into developing new technologies, we satisfy our curiosity by addressing fundamental biological questions and we have fun pursuing interdisciplinary research where we can learn from each other’s expertise and do science in a highly synergistic manner.
Research Group Leader