Enrique M. Muro

I am a Senior Scientist (tenured) working at the CBDM group at the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz in Germany.
My research interest focuses on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics.




Enrique M. Muro

Contact information:
Dr. Enrique M. Muro
Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz
iomE - Faculty of Biology
Biozentrum I
Hans-Dieter-Huesch-Weg 15
55128 Mainz. Germany

E-mail: ed.zniam-inu@orum (not a palindrome, please read it backwards)


Research

I am interested in understanding and discover new biological processes. This is probably due to my background as a Computational Physicist, and profile as Computational Biologist and Bioinformatician.
Science and Biology, in particular, is full of rules that simplify drastically the way nature works. Simplifications (that are assumed to be right) stand on our incomplete knowledge of the domain and posterior research will be based on those. It is not always the most efficient way to learn but, for practical reasons, is a good strategy. This has been previously approached in the concept of Falsifiability by Karl Popper.
Nevertheless, exceptions to the simplified rules can be very relevant and causal of functionality; in my particular field of study, even with implications for human diseases. Let me give you an example: the study of the non-coding DNA (junk DNA or the dark genome). Till very recently, even after the Human Genome Project goal achievement, it was basically considered that DNA regions that do not code for proteins were non-functional and therefore uninteresting. Funded projects on the topic were rejected (or not even written) because they were mostly considered as a waste of resources. The perspective has changed drastically over the years, transcriptome sequencing has proved its relevance and nowadays there are hundreds of labs devoted to non-coding research. It is the other way around, it has become a hot research topic. Therefore, scientists swimming against the tide, supported by evidence, have big chances to make a difference. There are other paradigms, like the central dogma of molecular biology (DNA<->RNA->Protein; with contradictions like prions), the concept of one gene -> one protein (until the discovery of alternative splicing), etc.
Taking this into account, I am quite interested in discovering biological mechanisms and properties that lead to gene functionality, stressing any implication for human diseases. For that, a must to start is to have a well-determined scientific question. Then, I will approach the problem with a Computational biology/Bioinformatics perspective, usually in the form of a hypothesis or a model that will be formulated to provide answers to the main scientific question. Finally, it is needed evidence to support the hypothesis, that will be provided through methods: data science, databases, statistics, algorithms, artificial intelligence paradigms, external tools, or even our own software and web servers.

Keywords: three-dimensional chromatin structure, genomics, transcription, non-coding genes, evolution, systems biology, pseudogenes


News

Complete list of publications:   Included in Pubmed      Not included in Pubmed


Teaching

Recent teaching at the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz