Systems Microbiology and Evolution
I am currently an associate research scientist at the Department of Systems Biology at Columbia University in New York City. I am interested in the evolution of microbial phenotypic and genetic properties, the metabolic analysis of pathogenic microbes, and the development of tools for the annotation and reconstruction of metabolic networks.
Recently, I have been exploring the application of computational tools -such as constraints based modeling of metabolic networks- to thousands of sequenced bacterial species in ordrer to predict and study the conservation of bacterial phenotypic properties over 4 billion years of evolution.
I am also interested in developing methods for the annotation, reconstruction, and simulation of microbial metabolic networks. We continue to develop a method called Global Biochemical Reconstruction Using Sampling (GLOBUS), which is a principled probabilistic framework for the genome-wide annotation of metabolic genes. GLOBUS combines information about sequence homology with gene-gene functional correlations -such as phylogenetic profile correlations- to assign probabilities to the association of biochemical function and candidate metabolic genes. The annotation tools and the computational analysis of microbial metabolic networks have led to the discovery of enzymatic gene functions in the model bacterial species B. subtilis, and the identification of novel potential protein targets for malaria treatment.
© 2014 Germán Plata
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