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R. Taylor Raborn
Postdoctoral Fellow
Office: 205B Simon Hall
Lab: 208 Simon Hall (left bay)
Phone: (812) 856-9572
Software: https://github.com/rtraborn
Website: http://about.me/raborn

Ph.D. 2013, Biology, University of Iowa
B.Sc. (Hons) 2004, Life Sciences, Queen’s University at Kingston

My research interests relate to transcription initiation, promoter architecture and cis-regulatory regions in diverse eukaryotes. Using specialized functional genomics methods that capture the 5’ end of capped RNAs (e.g. Cap Analysis of Gene Expression; CAGE), we can identify transcription start sites (TSSs) and promoters at massive scale within a given tissue or condition.

Recently, in collaboration with the Lynch Lab, I employed CAGE to identify active promoters in the microcrustacean Daphnia pulex. This was the first comprehensive study of cis-regulatory regions in any crustacean and provided insight into the regulation of gene expression in D. pulex, an emerging model organism.

I’m also keenly interested in the population genetics of cis-regulatory regions, and fortunately Daphnia is an excellent system in which to explore this. Future work will concern variation and selection at cis-regulatory regions in six well-defined natural populations of D. pulex.
With Bing Yang (Iowa State), Volker Brendel and I are employing similar functional genomics approaches to explore cis-regulatory regions in rust-resistant cultivars of rice (O. sativa).

Our investigations involve large amounts of computation and tailored analysis workflows, so I also develop software related to promoter identification. An R/Bioconductor package I wrote, ‘TSRchitect’, is currently in the latter stages of testing and will be released to the community later this year.