Dr. Eivind Valen: Sven Furberg Seminar in Bioinformatics and Statistical Genomics
Dr. Eivind Valen, Group Leader at the Computational Biology Unit of the University of Bergen, will present the lecture "Searching for function in the dark matter of the genome."
While most of the genome is transcribed, only a fraction codes for proteins. The remaining non-coding transcripts are largely uncharacterized and have been poetically referred to as “the dark matter of the genome”. We have found that many of these are highly regulated, but the lack of obvious conservation raises the question whether mere regulation is indeed indicative of function. Probing active translation we discovered that several of these actually harbor short "micropeptides" and that translation is considerably more pervasive than previously thought. Gene annotation has been biased against short peptides and an unbiased view could expand the catalog of genes. However, existence does not equal function and this “dark matter of the proteome” has yet to prove its significance.
Meeting Dr. Eivind Valen
Dr. Valen obtained his PhD in 2010 at the University of Copenhagen working in Bioinformatics under the supervision of Drs. Albin Sandelin and Anders Krogh. After his PhD, he joined the lab of Dr. Alex Schier at Harvard University and The Broad Institute for his postdoc. Since 2014, he is a group leader at the Computational Biology Unit of the University of Bergen where his lab is dedicated to the study of gene regulation and RNA biology.