Transcription factor networks and disease modeling in zebrafish
Hematopoietic malignancies are usually complex, depending on many different mutations and diverse pathways. Zebrafish has emerged as an important model in biomedical sciences due to its genetic malleability and the possibility of performing large-scale chemical screens. We focus on previously uncharacterized or poorly-characterized transcription factors that have been found deregulated or mutated in hematological malignancies. We use zebrafish to study the physiological role of these genes in vivo and determine epistatic relations between them.
Moreover, we are trying to combine developmental biology with molecular biology techniques and high throughput sequencing to find upstream regulators and downstream targets of the respective transcription factors, thus creating a disease-related network (Figure 1). Our ultimate goal is to create disease models and use them to identify novel therapeutic substances by performing drug screens in zebrafish.