12/06/2013 - 12:00 - Auditori PRBB

Epigenetic regulation of RNA processing. A personal experience of excitement and frustration

Scientific sessions, CRG Group Leader Seminars

Roderic Guigó

Bioinformatics and Genomics Programme, CRG

Summary of the talk

There is increasing evidence of a layer of epigenetic regulation of RNA processing beyond mere control of transcription. Our group, in collaboration with other groups at the PRBB and elsewhere, has contributed to some of this evidence. For instance, we have found strong nucleosome occupancy in exons, and that, as a rule, splicing occurs during transcription. Narratives of the scientific discovery process tend to be idealized and ahistorical. In these, the discovery process appears as a coherent and rational series of hypothesis, experiments, interpretations leading to new hypothesis, etc. During my talk I will try to present our findings in a more historical perspective, underlying the failures as well as the successes, the excitement and the frustration. I will emphasize the importance of the context (the great colleagues at the PRBB) and that of freedom (to explore and make mistakes).


Roderic Guigó obtained his PhD in 1988 for work on Computational Methods on Evolutionary Ecology carried out with Jordi Ocaña at the Department of Statistics from the Universitat de Barcelona. He then moved to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and later to Boston University, where he was a postdoctoral fellow with Temple F. Smith. With Smith, he became interested in Computational Genomics, which has been since then the main field of Guigó's research. On 1992 he moved to Los Alamos National Laboratory, where he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Theoretical Biology and Biophysics Group with James W. Fickett. In 1994 he returned to Barcelona where he joined the Institut Municipal d'Investigació Medica (IMIM). Since 2001 he is the coordinator of the Bioinformatics and Genomics Program of the Center for Genomic Regulation ( He is also a Bionformatics Professor at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Dr Guigó's main research aim is to understand the sequence signals that guide the molecular pathway leading from DNA to RNA and protein sequences.