The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Department of Computer Science and Engineering


Title: A Unifying and Scalable Framework for Large-Scale Gene Evolution
Date: April 1, 2015 (Wednesday)
Time: 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon
Venue: Room 121, 1/F, Ho Sin-hang Engineering Building,
The Chinese University of Hong Kong,
Shatin, N.T.
Speaker: Dr. Christophe Dessimoz
Laboratory of Computational Evolutionary Biology and Genomics
University College London



The sequencing revolution is transforming biological sciences, providing us with a wealth of information and an unprecedented opportunity to better understand the molecular basis of life. Yet because dealing with multiple species can be conceptually and practically challenging, many analyses remain stuck in a "two-species at a time" paradigm or only consider single-copy genes across multiple species. To overcome this impasse, I'll introduce the concept of Hierarchical Orthologous Groups (HOGs) - nested groups of genes descending from a single ancestral gene within clades of interest. I'll present an algorithm to accurately and efficiently infer HOGs. I will show how HOGs can be used to reconstruct ancestral genomes and to propagate functional knowledge from model species to non-model species. and on Twitter (@DessimozLab).



Christophe Dessimoz is a lecturer (assistant professor) at University College London, where he heads the Laboratory of Computational Evolutionary Biology and Genomics. Prior to his appointment at UCL in 2013, he was a SNSF advanced fellow at EMBL European Bioinformatics Institute (Cambridge UK). Earlier, he completed his PhD at ETH Zurich, Switzerland. At the interface between biology and computer science, he seeks to better understand evolutionary and functional relationships between genes, genomes, and species. More info at


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