Bio-X SIGF Graduate Student Fellow

Awarded in 2023
Home Department: Bioengineering
Faculty Advisors: William Greenleaf (Genetics) and Lacramioara Bintu (Bioengineering)

Research Title: Dissecting Dynamics of Gene Activation by Human Transcription Factors with Single Molecule Footprinting

Research Description: Transcription factors (TFs) are proteins that control biological processes as diverse as development, memory formation, and antiviral response by binding DNA and regulating gene expression. All of these processes require precise signaling dynamics, whether in initiating a rapid response to fight infection or ensuring proper cellular differentiation. However, current approaches to study TF function are limited in both time and molecular resolution, hindering our understanding of the mechanisms TFs utilize to enact temporal control. In collaboration with the Greenleaf and Bintu labs, Julia will develop a novel platform to quantitatively measure binding of TFs to single molecules of DNA in cells and track their behavior over time. This work will enable construction of predictive models for gene expression dynamics from regulatory DNA sequence and further our understanding of complex biological processes.