Atefeh Lafzi

I am currently a PhD student in Biomedicine and work as SINGEK ESR 6 on development of methodology for single cell organism genome analysis in CRG-CNAG, Barcelona. I am interested in searching for procedures and data analysis methodology for single cell studies of species for which no reference genome sequences exist. Establishment of methodology for homogeneous DNA amplification from single cells, de novo genome assembly, RNA analysis and de novo transcriptome assembly are also among the areas I will work on during my PhD.

I have completed my undergraduate studies in Information Technology Engineering in Iran. Completing several courses from computer engineering and informatics gave me a perspective of an engineer. However, I had always searched for areas in which I can apply my theoretical knowledge on discovering biological mysteries. Consequently, I started my masters in Bioinformatics at Middle East Technical University in Turkey. During my master studies, I got involved in a nationally supported project about “Identification of the factors that govern post-transcriptional regulation (PTR) of mRNAs” which was led by Dr. Hilal Kazan and supported by Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey. Getting involved in this project transformed me from an undergraduate student to a master-level researcher and increased my knowledge in bioinformatics significantly. Working on this project for two years, we tried to identify the interactions between two trans-acting factors: RNA-binding proteins and microRNAs (doi: 10.1093/nar/gkw048), also we developed a statistical model that incorporates the effects of RBPs in addition to copy number changes, DNA methylation and regulation by transcription factors and miRNAs to predict gene expression in cancer. This model is one of the first examples integrating transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation in detail, and it discovers the trans-factors that lead to expression changes in cancer (