My name is Istvan (Steve) Ladunga http://compbio.unl.edu/steve_ladunga.html and I am a computational biologist educated at the Budapest (Eotvos) University of Sciences http://www.elte.hu/en, Hungary. Having worked at Stanford, the Baylor College of Medicine, SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals, and Celera Genomics, now I study gene regulation at the Departments of Statistics http://statistics.unl.edu/, Biochemistry http://biochem.unl.edu/ and the School of Biological Sciences http://biosci.unl.edu/ at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln http://www.unl.edu/.
Transcription factors regulate genes in much different ways than we humans regulate our societies. Regulators bind to DNA and dissociate from it in a matter of minutes or seconds. These partially random events lead to bursts and pauses in transcription. Transcription factors compete for degenerate binding sites on the genome. Important regulators emerge and disappear during evolution. Mutations and chromosomal rearrangements lead to massive rewiring of the regulatory network even between human and mouse.
Our primary research is the development of a novel theory of pluralistic and stochastic gene regulation. My laboratory synthesizes the above earlier observations with our new meta-analyses of gene regulation based on the ENCODE experiments. We found pluralistic regulation in ~800,000 tightly co-expressed pairs of diverse human genes. We have shown that transcription factor binding and regulation are highly stochastic processes. We found that no less than twenty stochastically binding transcription factors and histone remodeling enzymes are able to precisely co-regulate the largest co-expressed network of human genes.