Mihaela Zavolan
RNA Regulatory Networks Group
University of Basel
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What do we do?

Individual cells of a body exhibit a stunning diversity of phenotypes, despite carrying a largely identical genetic makeup. The differences between say, a neuron and a muscle cell are thus determined by the distinct ways in which the same genetic information can be read, interpreted and translated into function. This multifaceted process has been a major focus of study over the last decade, during which scientists have unveiled several additional layers of complexity. At the RNA Regulatory Networks (RRN) Group at the Biozentrum in Basel we use both experimental and computational methods to discover and understand the regulatory networks governing the interpretation of genetic information at the level of tissues and single cells.

Highlights 2015

During the course of 2015, in a series of studies our team developed a general approach to infer a biophysical model of miRNA-target interaction that considerably improves the principled prediction of miRNA-target interactions. The model can also be used to predict siRNA off-targets and thereby help in the interpretation of siRNA screening data.

Main publications 2015

  • Breda J et al. Quantifying the strength of miRNA-target interactions. Methods 2015;85:90-9.
  • Gumienny R et al. Accurate transcriptome-wide prediction of microRNA targets and small interfering RNA off-targets with MIRZA-G. Nucleic Acids Res 2015;43(3):1380-91.
  • Kanitz A et al. Comparative assessment of methods for the computational inference of transcript isoform abundance from RNA-seq data. Genome Biol 2015;16:150.

Our research topics: