• Research group

Di Palma Group

Determining the genetic and developmental mechanisms generating vertebrate diversity.

Federica Di Palma portrait

Director of Science
Federica Di Palma

Group activities.

We use comparative functional genomics (mRNA levels, chromatin organisation, transcription factor occupancies) to study the evolution of tissue and species-specific divergence in various species, from fish to dogs.

We reconstruct and regulatory networks underlying key cellular processes, and test their involvement in phenotypic divergence using genetic manipulation strategies such as CRISPR.

We improve the annotation of genomic coding, non-coding and regulatory sequences that harbour most of the genetic variants associated with complex traits in farm animals, in collaboration with The Roslin Institute and the EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute.

Our research feeds back to human health; comparative vertebrate studies are key for characterising the subtle yet profound functional genomic changes which define each and every species including our own.

Some of our projects include:

  • Establishing the infrastructure for functional annotation of farmed animal genomes 
  • Genomic approaches to identification and preservation of wild tilapia genetic resources for aquaculture
  • Understanding influenza A virus: linking transmission, evolutionary dynamics, pathogenesis and immunity in pigs
  • Development of magnetometer immunoassay technology to improve screening accuracy and user friendliness with sequencing and resistance information
  • Molecular basis of foodborne disease risk of variants of Salmonella Typhimurium DT193 and U288
  • Triticeae Genomics for Sustainable Agriculture
  • Understanding the genotype to phenotype link: Reconstruction of tissue-specific regulatory networks in a vertebrate model system