Wednesday, 15 March 2023 10:37

Visit to the group of Dr. Francesco Ferrari in Milan (STSM grant - COST action CA18127)

Our colleague from the Department of Molecular Biology, Dr. Anja Tolić had the opportunity to visit a bioinformatics group led by Dr. Francesco Ferrari at IFOM ETS - The AIRC Institute of Molecular Oncology in Milan from 15. 1. to 28. 2. 2023. The visit was funded by STSM grant from COST action International Nucleome Consortium CA18127.

Next generation sequencing (NGS) nowadays has many different applications, some of which can help evaluate epigenetic marks and open chromatin regions genome-wide. These methods generate a large quantity of data that has to be analysed by computational methods making it a necessity for researchers to have some level of programming and computer literacy. One of the goals of this visit was to enable grantee to learn necessaire skills to be able to analyse the open chromatin data from an experiment she participated in. This is a part of a larger effort in diabetes research with the objective to counteract the loss of insulin producing pancreatic beta cells by epigenetic reprogramming of another type of pancreatic cells. Namely, pancreatic alpha cells were reprogrammed into insulin producing cells by CRISPR based epigenetic silencing of a crucial Arx gene and genome-wide changes in open chromatin were evaluated by ATAC-seq NGS method, while the obtained data was processed during the visit.
The Italian colleagues were very welcoming and helpful making the visit both very useful and fun experience. We certainly hope to deepen the established connection between the two groups and we are looking forward to future collaboration.


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