TCM
UoC crest

Rosana Collepardo

Dr Rosana Collepardo

Dr Rosana Collepardo

Winton Advanced Research Fellow

Email: rc597 @ cam.ac.uk
Office: Maxwell building, room 274

TCM Group, Cavendish Laboratory
19 JJ Thomson Avenue,
Cambridge, CB3 0HE UK.

Research Group

Also a member of the Biological and Soft Systems group.

Research

We develop and apply multi-scale computational models to investigate the structure of the genome at the nanoscale level, in conditions mimicking those inside cells. Our research aims to link epigenomes with the specific chromatin nanostructures they lead to, and also to elucidate the molecular-level mechanisms behind such link. Our multi-scale computational models are anchored in all-atom molecular dynamics simulations, coarse-graining techniques, theory, and experiments from collaborators.

In Plain English

Inside our cells, the DNA is not found free, it is wound around proteins, forming a remarkable structure know as chromatin. Through chromatin, the DNA compresses enormously to fit inside tiny (6 μm) nuclei, stores information at high densities and, moreover, maintains exquisite control over the accessibility of the data it carries. One way in which DNA access is controlled is through epigenetic marks: a pattern of chemical modificaitons that allow the same DNA sequences to be interpreted differently, generating diversity of cells. Indeed, epigenetics explain why the different cell types in our body (e.g. liver, skin, brain) have different behaviors despite having exactly the same DNA sequence. Our group develops computational approaches to investigate the physical principles that explain the storage and access of DNA inside cells, and the epigenetic control of chromatin structure . We also investigate the design principles of data storage in chromatin with the aim of translating them into design rules for novel sustainable data storage devices.