Sonja Prohaska

External Professor

My research is concerned with gene regulation as it is key to the conversion of genotype to phenotype. Interests reach from the theoretical consideration of the gene concept and theory of regulation to the evolutionary history of special regulatory mechanisms. I investigated the phylogenetic distribution and conservation of potential cis-regulatory elements using comparative genomics, hypothesized about the evolution of chromatin regulation and tried to emphasis functionalities unique to this regulatory mechanism. Drawing from both, my Computer Science and Genetics background, I am interested to investigate if chromatin regulation can be understood as a computation device. General interests also concern interplay and conflicts between genotype and epigenotype. Using modeling and computer simulation I attempt to answer the question whether cellular aging can be a consequence of erroneous mitotic inheritance of epigenetic marks. Due to the close contact to Peter Stadler's group, I also work on prediction of RNA motifs with a focus on protein binding sites and the role of ncRNAs in chromatin regulation.