Dr Irene Gallego Romero
My group explores the ways in which natural selection and evolutionary change have shaped the human species (and sometimes, other mammals too!), with a particular focus on gene regulatory processes. Because gene regulation is still not easily predicted from sequence-level data, we often use induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to examine the means by which multiple cellular mechanisms interact to regulate gene expression and ultimately give rise to inter-species or population-level differences. By combining the versatility of iPSCs with the power of functional and comparative genomics we address questions about the mechanisms of evolutionary adaptation in humans that are intractable by other means.