Chris Burge completed his undergraduate studies at Stanford University (BS, 1990), then worked with a W.H.O.-sponsored project in Nicaragua, and went on to graduate studies in computational biology at Stanford University (PhD 1997). A faculty member in the Department of Biology from 2002-present, he is currently Whitehead Career Development Associate Professor of Biology and Biological Engineering at MIT.
Computational Biology of Gene Expression. The lab studies mechanisms of posttranscriptional gene regulation using a combination of computational and experimental methods. A long-term goal is to understand the RNA splicing code: how the precise locations of exons and splice sites are identified in primary transcripts, and how this code is altered in cell- and condition-specific alternative splicing. Current efforts are focused on identifying splicing cis-regulatory elements and associated splicing factors, and understanding the context-dependent activities and functional interactions between these elements. We also study the roles that microRNAs (miRNAs) play in gene regulation, with an emphasis on determining the rules for miRNA-directed targeting of mRNAs. The Burge group is beginning to study the relationship between alternative cleavage and polyadenylation, which is commonly used to generate alternative mRNA isoforms differeing in their 3' UTRs, and miRNA regulation.