Alan Moses Professor University of Toronto

Dr. Alan Moses is a Professor in the Department of Cell and Systems Biology and Computer Science. He completed his Bachelor’s degree at Columbia University and his Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley.

The Moses Lab seeks to understand how are regulatory networks are encoded in genome sequences. One of the important components of this ‘regulatory code’ has been discovered: ‘regulatory motifs’ in the sequences of DNA, RNA and proteins. One of the major aims of their research is to develop computational and statistical tools to identify these motifs. Just as differential gene activity can explain cellular and physiological diversity within a single organism (nerve cell vs. white blood cell with same genes), it has also been proposed as explanation for physiological and morphological differences between closely related organisms (chimpanzee vs. human with very similar genes). They seek to understand how regulatory networks are sculpted by evolution. They focus on the evolution of regulatory motifs because, by mediating the regulatory interactions, they specify the connections in regulatory networks. Their goal is to translate the evolutionary differences in regulatory motifs to quantitative differences in regulatory networks, and ultimately, to their impact on organismal fitness.

In 2015, Dr. Moses was awarded as Canada Research Chair in Computational Biology, which was renewed in 2020.