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Julia Schaepe

Transcription factors are proteins that control important biological processes as diverse as development, memory formation, and immune response by binding DNA and regulating gene expression. These processes require precise dynamics and can lead to disease if gene expression does not occur at the right time, whether in initiating a rapid response to fight infection or ensuring proper cell differentiation. However, current approaches to study transcription factor function are limited in both time and molecular resolution, hindering our understanding of how transcription factors temporally control gene expression. To address these limitations, I will develop a novel platform in collaboration with the Greenleaf and Bintu labs to quantitatively measure binding of transcription factors to single molecules of DNA in cells and track their behavior over time. This work will enable construction of predictive models for gene expression dynamics from regulatory DNA sequence and further our understanding of complex biological processes.