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Ay is an associate professor at La Jolla Institute for Immunology. He was a computing innovation fellow at the University of Washington and a research assistant professor at Northwestern University before joining La Jolla Institute for Immunology in 2016. He received his Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Florida in Gainesville. 

Sharp Minds February 5, 2024 Lecture Topic

Charting New Territory Within the Architecture of Our Genome

Ferhat Ay, Ph.D., is building some of the world’s smallest maps. These maps trace the wiring inside a cell’s nucleus to reveal how genes interact and how the body fights disease. Only about 2% of our DNA accounts for genes; the remaining 98% harbor regulatory switches that control when and how active each gene is. Some switches are positioned right next to the gene they control, but some are far apart and brought close together as our DNA folds into a complex 3D shape inside the cell nucleus. Join Ay as he discusses how he uses computational tools to understand how individual variations in the intricate 3D architecture of our genome directly impact how our immune system fights disease.