All cells in multicellular organisms have the same DNA, the same genes. Yet, there is a large variety of cellular shapes and functions. This diversity is accomplished by differential gene expression, the unequal activation and repression of their genes. The pattern of activated and repressed genes can be imagined as a regulatory landscape of the genome in each cell.
My research concerns the experimental and computational analysis of these landscapes in the context of the developing fruit-fly. Some of the questions I am trying to answer: Is there a limited set of landscapes? Do all combinations occur? Are some landscapes more important than others? Ultimately, we would like to be able to predict the phenotypic outcome of each regulatory landscape, but this goal is still far far away.