Transposable Elements (TEs) are everywhere! These repetitive, mobile and highly mutagenic sequences make up half of your DNA, most of the maize genome and even jump between species! That's the kind of evolutionary success I'm intrigued with.
How does these selfish entities thrive and coexists within the highly cooperative sequences which resides in the genomes? What if the genome is actually a sea of aging TEs where the genes are born, live, and die?
It is now well established that TEs are crucial components of most eukaryotes' genomes, friend and foe interweaved at every step of evolution. My research focuses on the contribution of TEs to biodiversity and human health using trans-disciplinary approach
I am particularly interested in answering how much of the TE activity is accountable to the evolution of eukaryotes, from the cell to the ecosystem, by testing their impact in specific processes such as adaptation, symbiosis, and health.
My current research is divided into three complementary areas: