Medicine, agriculture, and other biology-related industries will increasingly depend on the information encoded in genomic DNA. The technological achievements in the past 20 years have made sequencing a genome a relatively simple task. Decoding this information, however, has proved to be much more difficult, and is one of the great challenges for this century. Advancing our understanding of how genes are structured and regulated will eventually lead to novel therapeutics for combating cancer and other diseases, to cheaper and more nutritious food, to less wasteful materials and energy sources, and to a greater understanding of ourselves. Genome analysis is 21st Century rocket science.
We are interested in structure and function in genomic sequence. Specifically, our research seeks to build better models of eukaryotic genes by investigating the individual components that define gene structure. Our research employs a combination of computational modeling, comparative genomics, and experimental molecular biology. Computational models of functional elements such as promoters, enhancers, exons, introns, etc. summarize what we know about these sequence fatures. In practice, computational models are often inaccuarate, and this indicates we have much to learn about genes and genomes. Comparative genomics can help shed light on the important parts of genomes, but ultimately we must be able to derive function from sequence alone. Here, experimental molecular biology is particulary important, because algorithms must be tested.
Nov 26, 2013: Ian Korf writes a News & Views piece for Nature Methods about two new comparisons of programs that work with RNA-seq data
Sep 24, 2013: An article on genome assembly by My Science Work includes an interview with Keith Bradnam about Assemblathon 2 & 3.
Aug 12, 2013: Biome Magazine includes a piece that features Ian Korf discussing a novel platform for bioinformatics education (with Daniel Barker)
Jul 22, 2013: The News blog at Nature.com writes about the Assemblathon 2 paper.
For questions or comments about the website, please e-mail:
korflab AT ucdavis DOT edu
Contact information for specific members of our lab can be found on their personal pages.