Center for Gene Expression (CGEN)
Jesper Q Svejstrup
April 2023 - March 2029
University of Copenhagen
We all know the expression: “It’s in our DNA”, but how is the heritable information in the genes of our DNA decoded, and how is the process regulated? DNA decoding, or gene expression, occurs via two main processes, transcription and translation. During the former, the information encoded by a gene is transcribed into an RNA copy, while during the latter that RNA information is translated into a polypeptide chain containing the information to make a protein. Proteins (including enzymes and hormones) in turn maintain and regulate all cellular processes.
Due to their intrinsic differences, studies of transcription and translation have over the years segregated so that an understanding of the overarching process of gene expression is lagging behind. Using a wide-ranging repertoire of state-of-the-art techniques and approaches, Center for Gene Expression (CGEN) will study these processes in a more integrated, cohesive manner to obtain a comprehensive cellular-, genome- and proteome-wide understanding of gene expression and its regulation, with a focus on how the constituting processes interrelate.
Understanding gene expression is important for understanding the regulation of all cellular pathways, but also for new insights into the fundamental processes that underlie human health and disease. Indeed, faults or mistakes during gene expression underlie a plethora of human diseases, including cancer.