Vikas Bansal
Biomedical Data Science & Machine Learning in Neurodegenerative Diseases
Dr. Vikas Bansal
Career Development Fellow
Otfried-Müller-Str. 23
72076  Tübingen

vikas.bansal@dzne.de
 +49 7071 9254-074

Research areas/focus

Genome annotation is a crucial component of any downstream analyses such as variation and assessing functionality of a sequence. Because of the general assumption that most “intergenic” DNA is non-functional, the effect of variations in the unannotated regions has been ignored largely. It is very likely that many functional features exist in these “intergenic” regions and their differential activity may explain disease phenotypes. Moreover, according to current human proteome, only ~1% of our genome encode for proteins, which work together to underlie most of the structure and function of our cells and organs. Thus ~99% of our non-coding genome comprises the critical information dictating the regulation of protein-coding genes during our life and development.

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For instance, more than half of this non-coding DNA is derived from transposable elements (TEs), repetitive DNA segments that are capable of moving and replicating in the genome and has been associated in many human diseases. Notably, along with the gene expression, the activity of these non-coding regions is highly cell-type specific. Therefore, combining disease-specific mutation information with cell type-specific novel and known non-coding functional regions offers the potential to capture genetic complexity, the molecular basis of normal brain function, and the transition to neurological disease.

At DZNE, we aim to develop new computational methods to predict novel non-coding loci in the human genome with their cell type-specificity information and investigate the functional impact of mutations in these novel annotations and known regions in human brain disorders and specifically neurodegenerative diseases.

Key publications

Singh, M*#., V. Bansal*#, and C. Feschotte#. (# shared corresponding author). A Single-Cell RNA Expression Map of Human Coronavirus Entry Factors. Cell Reports. 2020 Jan 01; 32 doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2020.108175
Marouf M, Machart P, Bansal V, Kilian C, Magruder DS, Krebs CF, Bonn S. Realistic in silico generation and augmentation of single-cell RNA-seq data using generative adversarial networks. Nature Communications. 2020 Jan 09; 11:1-2. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-14018-z
Keihani, S., V. Kluever, S. Mandad, V. Bansal, R. Rahman, E. Fritsch, L. Caldi Gomes, et al. The Long Noncoding RNA neuroLNC Regulates Presynaptic Activity by Interacting with the Neurodegeneration-Associated Protein TDP-43. Science Advances. 2019 Jan 01; 5 doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aay2670
Kaczmarczyk L, Bansal V, Rajput A, Rahman RU, Krzyżak W, Degen J, Poll S, Fuhrmann M, Bonn S, Jackson WS. Tagger—A Swiss army knife for multiomics to dissect cell type–specific mechanisms of gene expression in mice. PLoS Biology. 2019 Aug 08; 17:e3000374. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.3000374
Bansal V, Mitjans M, Burik CA, Linner RK, Okbay A, Rietveld CA, Begemann M, Bonn S, Ripke S, de Vlaming R, Nivard MG. Genome-wide association study results for educational attainment aid in identifying genetic heterogeneity of schizophrenia. Nature communications. 2018 Aug 06; 9:1-2. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-05510-z

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