MSc Minkang Tan


Genes are turned on and off in the proper cell types and cell states by transcription factor (TF) proteins acting on DNA regulatory elements that are scattered over the vast noncoding genome and exert long-range influences. These cis-acting regulatory elements include promoters, enhancers, insulators and silencers, whose architecture defines spatial and temporal patterns of gene expression. The majority of disease- and phenotype-associated genomic aberrations like GWAS SNPs are located in regulatory regions and function by altering the gene regulatory network. My research goal is to develop the algorithm to charting the sequence-based(TFBSs) and epigenetic mark-based(histone modification) signatures of these cis-acting regulatory elements and predict their functions, especially silencers. On the other hand, I am interested in applying machine learning methods to identify and rank pathogenic variants in non-coding regions from GWAS study. I will continue the NGS data analysis (e.g. ATAC-seq, ChIP-seq, RNA-seq and CRISPR screen) in our group to understand the function of noncoding DNA in drug response.

Curriculum Vitae:

I obtained my Bachelor and first Master degree from Xi’an Jiaotong University. During my Master period, I received bioinformatics training in the group of Prof. Dr. Kai Ye, where we are mainly interested in developing algorithms to detect genomic variations. After that, I went to the Netherlands to pursue my second Master degree at Leiden University, where I received the Master’s degree of Data Science: Computer Science with Cum Laude. During my Master research, Dr. Baoxu Pang supervised my thesis project titled “Streamlining Computational Workflow of Dual CRISPR Screen Library Design and Screen Analysis” and inspired me to pursue my scientific career. I joined the group of Dr. Baoxu Pang as a PhD student to investigate the epigenetic signatures of cis-regulatory elements (especially silencers) and study the pathogenic variants in noncoding genome.


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