The darkDNA group encompasses all aspects of modern genetics, bioinformatics, structural and systems biology approaches. The aim is to combine multi-dimensional genomic information, to investigate complex molecular systems, heredity, population genetics and even complex diseases. In fact, the darkDNA group coalesces various fields of state of the art research in genetics into a multidiscipline approach adjusted to meet the needs of the post-Genomic era.
Of particular interest is the development of statistical and computational methodologies to analyze high-throughput microarray and sequencing gene expression experiments, genetic mapping and integrate gene expression profiles, agricultural, animal and human genetics, animal biotechnology, molecular markers and complex phenotypic traits. Special emphasis is given on the development of tools to study of protein fold and structure. Our focus is also on computational statistics, stochastic search algorithms, partition modelling, Bayesian analysis of change-point models, as well as to integrate, store, organize, visualize and enhance the understanding of complex genetic and structural datasets.
The darkDNA group of the Genetics Laboratory of the Agricultural University of Athens, is fully equipped with state of art laboratories for both in vitro and in silico research. Our facilities cover all aspects of gene handling, cloning, protein expression and purification as well as crystallization and structural analysis. On the other hand, there is large infrastructure on the computational biology axis that comprises of local (in house) server and workstation solutions as well as more advances virtual machines and cloud solutions through successful competitive grants and ongoing research projects.
All in all, our research covers several areas of genetics, bioinformatics, functional genomics, transcriptomics, statistics, genome analysis and annotation, by combining both theoretical and empirical analyses; and involves collaborative and independent research. Research at darkDNA is fixated on the integration of multidiscipline and multidimensional approaches into a rather focused and unified study of biological systems. Our pipelines are based on genomic and structural datasets, whose size has recently skyrocketed, providing the means to spawn biological insights, whose deciphering may establish the basis for rapid and reliable scientific success.
We are developing software (coding) to cluster and characterize the function of "non-coding" RNAs and rational structure base drug design
We are fusing genomic information and investigate associations and synergies between various genes. We are interested in Nulcear Receptors and Stress responce.
A genetic and bioinformatic approach for pest control via inhibiting the key functional and metabolizing enzymes of endosymbiotic bacterial strains.
We have established our own tools and algorithms to cluster antibodies based on structural and physicochemical properties of both their Framework and CDR regions.
We showed that co-expression of fragments of LRRK2 that contain the FADD binding motif blocks the interaction with FADD, and is neuroprotective.
Targeting key enzymes in cell cycle, proliferation and genome processing that overexpress in cancer is a promising approach for novel chemo agents.