Mandel-Gutfreund, Yael , Associate Professor

Phone:  (972)-4-8293958

Building/Auditory:  Emerson 3-6

Reaserch Interests

The main research interest is in the field of computational molecular biology and bioinformatics. In our laboratory we develop and apply computational approaches to study the function of genes and proteins, by integrating sequence, structure and gene expression data. Our main goal is to understand the underlying principles of molecular recognition and regulation and develop tools towards identifying novel drug targets. In addition we have several collaborative projects with the group of Oded Beja in Biology and Zohar Yakhini in computer science.

Currently there are several major projects ongoing in our laboratory:

1. Studying protein-nucleic acid recognition- We develop methods for predicting DNA and RNA binding function from structure. The great advantage, and novelty, of our method is that it does not rely on evolutionary conservation and thus can be applied for identifying proteins in yet undiscovered cellular pathways. Currently we are concentrating on geometric-based methodology to discriminate between different molecular binding interfaces on proteins and predicting their specific targets
2. Studying alternative splicing regulation - We are applying genomic approaches to study the regulation of alternative splicing in the human genome. We were among the first to discover a unique type of alternative splicing event at tandem acceptors (NAGNAG), causing a minor change in the protein sequence. We have recently developed a novel approach for genome-wide mapping of splicing regulatory motifs. We are currently extending our study to explore the interplay between the transcription and post-transcription regulatory networks in humans. Our major goal is to decipher the code determining tissue specific alternative splicing.
3. Studying RNA-drug recognition- We apply network approaches to study the unique features of the bacterial ribosome. Based on this approach, we identified yet undiscovered ribosomal positions which have critical effects on ribosome function and potential new binding sites for antibiotics. Currently we are expending this study to search for small-ligand binding sites on RNA, concentrating on RNA-protein interfaces.