The Raes lab combines large-scale, next-generation sequencing with novel computational approaches to investigate the functioning and variability of the healthy human microbiome at the systems level and study its alteration in disease. In this context, we recently discovered the existence of discrete gut flora types (enterotypes), that are independent of host properties such as nationality, sex or race and are studying the predictive power of microbial markers for various intestinal diseases. In addition, we focus on the development of computational methods for the analysis of (next-generation) sequence data and the investigation of community properties from metagenomics, metatranscriptomics and meta-metabolomics data, which are applied in a wide range of environments (ocean, soil, etc.).
Ben Lehner is an ICREA Research Professor at the EMBL-CRG Systems Biology Program at the Centre for Genomic Regulation. He has a degree and a PhD from the University of Cambridge and was a post-doctoral fellow at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. The main interest of his lab is the genetics and biology of individuals: can we make accurate predictions about how individuals differ from their genome sequences, and why is this often impossible? The lab is funded by the ERC, the EU, and grants from the Spanish and Catalan governments. He was awarded the Banco Sabadell Prize for Biomedical Sciences, the City of Barcelona Prize for Science, the FEBS Anniversary Prize and is an EMBO Young Investigator.
Following a degree in Natural Sciences at Jesus College, University of Cambridge (1993-1996), Nick studied for a Ph.D. with Janet Thornton at UCL (1996-2000) on the basis for specificity of DNA-binding proteins. He then moved to Yale University, USA, as an Anna Fuller Postdoctoral Fellow with Mark Gerstein (2000-2005), where he shifted research focus to genomics with a particular emphasis on yeast transcriptional regulation. He was a Group Leader at the EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute (2005-2012) in Cambridge and built a computational biology laboratory with an emphasis on genomics and gene regulation. During this time, he joined the Okinawa Institute of Science & Technology as an Adjunct Faculty to establish a small group focused on developmental regulation (2011-present). He has now recently returned to UCL as a Chair in Computational Biology in the UCL Genetics Institute and holds a joint appointment as a Senior Group Leader at the Cancer Research UK London Research Institute. His laboratory will be joining the Francis Crick Institute in 2015.
Mihaela Zavolan is Professor in the Bioinformatics Division of the Biozentrum Basel. She leads a group whose focus is the computational study of the regulatory networks leading to tissue-specific expression of protein forms. The current projects in her lab are aimed at development of computational tools for the discovery of transcription regulatory modules, of splice regulatory signals, and of small regulatory RNAs.