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Fabian Zimmer


My research interests centre around questions in evolutionary biology and population genetics, which I try to answer by creating bioinformatics tools. During my BSc I focused on protein do-mains and the evolution of domain arrangements. As part of my bachelor’s thesis I contributed a pipeline to detect horizontally transferred protein domains for the leaf-cutter ant genome project (Suen G. et al. 2011).

Currently I am working on my master’s thesis, which I expect to obtain in August. My main goal is to understand the evolution of six dimerizing transcription factor families in metazoans. At the moment I am investigating how single gene duplications and whole genome duplications shape the topology of dimerizing transcription factor interaction networks. More generally I am interested in understanding how complex organisms evolve, and studying the evolution of gene expression or transcription factors is a highly relevant approach.

In addition to my current work I have experience working with next generation sequencing data. In 2011, during my three month internship at the University of Sheffield, I developed a pipeline to assemble NGS data obtained from a population of Soay and Boreray sheep. In my spare time I am developing an online platform with three colleagues called openSNP. The project uses a crowdsourcing approach, which enables scientists to perform genome wide association studies on a human data set and enables customers of direct-to-customer genetic tests to share their data and find the latest scientific literature.