Cis-regulation dynamics and chromatin architecture during development and evolution

The Gomez-Skarmeta group combines epigenomics, chromosome capture assays, transgenic enhancer experiments and mutagenic studies to determine how cis-regulatory elements and chromatin structure contribute to development and evolution, and how alteration in this non-coding part of the genome affects human health. For example, by genome-wide interrogation of histone marks associated with enhancers and promoters in zebrafish, they determined, for the first time in a vertebrate embryo, the dynamics of enhancer activity during early embryogenesis. In addition, they are applying 4C-Seq to systematically determine the gene regulatory landscapes of key developmental genes in embryos of different species. Projects in the lab also investigate the role of mutations in cis-regulatory elements in human disease.