Andrea R. Tilden
The J. Warren Merrill Associate Professor of Biology
Areas of Expertise
- Genomics and Bioinformatics
- Animal physiology
A trademark of the eukaryotic genome is the abundance of noncoding genetic material in the form of introns and intergenic expanses that can constitute the vast majority of a genome (~99% in humans). While some of this material has known functions, much is functionally questionable. The origins of this noncoding material are mysterious and an area of speculation and debate. My lab uses computational tools to analyze the evolutionary origins and trajectories of intron/exon structure to make predictions about a) the nature of intron invasion, b) resulting influences on gene structure, and c) implications for eukaryogenesis, multicellularity, and cellular differentiation.
Gene duplications can be a source of evolutionary novelty. These duplications can assume gain-of-function, subfunctional, or neofunctional roles, or they may become pseudogenes. My lab is studying duplications using expression assays and computational tools that can predict these fates.
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