1st Presenter:  Natalie Sauerwald, Ph.D., Flatiron Research Fellow, Genomics

Topic: Differences in response to SARS-CoV-2 infection in male and female young adults

Male sex is a major risk factor for SARS-CoV-2 infection severity and death. To understand the basis for this sex difference, we studied SARS-CoV-2 infection in a young adult cohort of United States Marine recruits. We identified sex differences in symptoms, viral load, blood transcriptome, RNA splicing, and proteomic signatures. Mediation analysis implicated some of these pre-existing differences in infection outcomes, indicating that the antiviral innate immunity set point contributes to sex differences in response to SARS-CoV-2 infection.

2nd Presenter: Adam Lamson, Ph.D., Flatiron Research Fellow, CCB

Topic: Exploring overlooked physical principles that can coordinate chromatin organization

Polymer simulations have become increasingly effective at interpreting the often beautiful hierarchical patterns that arise in chromatin conformation capture (3C,Hi-C) assays. While a number of models and theories can reconstruct these patterns in silco, many use highly coarse-grained potentials and ignore the microscopic mechanisms behind the interactions between chromatin, transcription factors(TFs), and the surrounding fluid. Here, I investigate how steric interactions between TFs expand and isolate genomic regions, while microscopically modeled crosslinking proteins specifically condense others domains. Furthermore, I will show how hydrodynamic forces couple chromatin and TF motion, providing an unrecognized avenue of nuclear organization.

Flatiron Institute
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