SIB 2009 Young Bioinformatician Award was funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation
**2009 SIB Best Graduate Paper**
The winner of the 2009 SIB Best Graduate Paper is SIB Member Julien Roux, 25, PhD student for the past two and a half years in the Evolutionary Bioinformatics Group led by Prof. Marc Robinson-Rechavi at the University of Lausanne. The topic of his paper Developmental Constraints on Vertebrate Genome Evolution (PLoS Genetics, December 2008) focused on the impact of developmental processes on evolution.
Mr. Roux looked at how evolutionary changes are limited by the extent they affect the development of an organism, and focused specifically on how the timing of expression in development affects selective pressure on genes. In his own words: "Because embryonic development must proceed correctly for an animal to survive, changes in evolution are constrained according to their effects on development. Changes that disrupt development too dramatically are thus rare in evolution."
While this has been long observed at the morphological level, it has been more difficult to characterise the impact of such constraints on the genome. Mr. Roux studied the effect of gene expression over vertebrate developmental time (from early to late development) in both zebrafish and mice. Results indicate "a strong effect of constraints, which are progressively weaker towards late development, in early development on the genome", which contradicts the "hourglass" model that is generally used to describe vertebrate developmental constraint.
Once published, this paper was immediately recogn
|Contact: Janice Blondeau|
Swiss Institute of Bioinoformatics