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Chemistry Program presents

The Role of DNA Shape in the Workings of the Human Genome

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A lecture by
Tom Tullius
Professor of Chemistry and Director of Bioinformatics

Boston University

In the age of genomics, DNA is most often depicted as a string of letters. While this is useful for representing the large amount of information encoded in a genome, the underlying molecular nature of DNA is obscured. Readout of genetic information is based on protein binding to specific sites in genomic DNA, but proteins cannot "read" DNA letters – they discriminate between potential DNA binding sites via the principles of molecular recognition. To introduce a structural dimension to genome analysis, we have developed a database of DNA structural patterns, ORChID, based on hydroxyl radical cleavage of DNA. We used ORChID to produce a topographical map of the variation in DNA structure throughout the human genome. I will present recent work in which we use ORChID to assess how DNA topography contributes to the binding of proteins and small molecules to DNA.

Tom Tullius conducts research in genomics, structural biology, and biophysical chemistry. In addition to Chemistry, he is the Professor of Pharmacology and Professor of Experimental Therapeutics in the Boston University School of Medicine. He is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Location: Reem-Kayden Center Laszlo Z. Bito '60 Auditorium