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Dongwon Lee paper voted Top 10 of 2011

December 18, 2012

In November 2012, at its 5th Annual Research in Computational Molecular Biology (RECOMB) Conference on Regulatory and Systems Genomics, organizers announced the most influential papers of 2011 in the fields of systems biology and regulatory genomics. Included in a long list of nominees, and among the top 10 influential papers selected, was a paper published in Genome Research by Dongwon Lee, a graduate student in the BME Ph.D. program, titled “Discriminative prediction of mammalian enhancers from DNA sequence.”

Dongwon’s paper developed a support vector machine (SVM) computational framework which accurately identifies mammalian enhancers (regulatory DNA elements controlling gene expression) using only genomic sequence and no prior biological knowledge of the transcription factors involved. These surprising results contribute to our understanding of the general sequence structure of vertebrate enhancers.

Dongwon is a graduate student in Dr. Michael Beer’s laboratory in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and the McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine at JHU. The work began as a project in Dr. Rachel Karchin’s course Foundations in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics. Dr. Karchin, Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and the Institute for Computational Medicine, is also a collaborator.

The RECOMB website describes the annual conference, held this year in San Francisco, as one of the premier annual meetings for computational and experimental scientists in the areas of regulatory genomics and systems biology. The conference presents the latest findings about regulatory and systems genomics, fosters discussions about current research directions and establishes new collaborations that will advance the development of a systems-level understanding of gene regulation.

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