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Welcome to the Walhout Lab

The Structure, Function and Evolution of Biological Networks

Broad system level of understanding diagramIn the Walhout lab we aim to understand how biological networks are organized, how their organization enables function, and how these networks evolve. Our main focus is on the gene regulatory networks that control proper gene expression, and on metabolic networks that provide building blocks and energy to support organism development, growth, wound healing, homeostasis, and response to nutritional, environmental and therapeutic inputs. We are particularly interested in the communication between metabolic and gene regulatory networks to ask important questions that navigate both broad systems-level as well as deep mechanistic biological processes. We mainly use the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans as a model system. Worms are highly adaptable, easy to manipulate, and have many analogs in human genetics. Furthermore, there are many genetic tools and worm-specific techniques that are not available for studying “higher” eukaryotes. Overall, our research involves three broad areas in systems biology:

  1. NETWORK STRUCTURE, FUNCTION AND EVOLUTION
  2. TISSUE-RELEVANT NETWORKS
  3. HOST-MICROBIOTA INTERACTIONS IN NUTRITION AND DRUG RESPONSE

Recent News

Getting Results…
  • Blog-post-07_2_2021-1024x488.jpg

    Working together during the COVID-19 pandemic, a silver lining in a trying time

    Dr. Walhout recently wrote a post on the motivations of and the process behind our WormPaths paper (in press at Genetics). This post is featured on the Genetics Society of America “Genes to Genomes” blog. Below is an excerpt.

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    C. elegans and its bacterial diet: An interspecies model to explore the effects of microbiota on drug response

    Our body is inhabited by a large community of microorganisms referred to as our microbiota that influences almost all aspects of human physiology, including the response to thereapeutic drugs. Drugs can affect microbiota composition and the microbiota can modulate the

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Recent Publications

  • WormPaths: Caenorhabditis elegans metabolic pathway annotation and visualization
    June 06, 2021

    WormPaths: Caenorhabditis elegans metabolic pathway annotation and visualization

    Walker MD*, Giese GE*, Holdorf AD*, Bhattacharya S, Diot C, García-González AP, Horowitz B, Lee YU, Leland T, Li X, Mirza Z, Na H, Nanda S, Ponomarova O, Zhang H, Zhang J, Yilmaz LS, Walhout AJM. (2021). WormPaths: Caenorhabditis elegans metabolic pathway annotation and visualization. Genetics, In press.

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  • A computational pipeline to predict tissue‐relevant metabolic function
    October 06, 2020

    A computational pipeline to predict tissue‐relevant metabolic function

    Yilmaz LS, Li X, Nanda S, Fox B, Schroeder F, Walhout AJM. (2020). Modeling tissue‐relevant Caenorhabditis elegans metabolism at network, pathway, reaction, and metabolite levels. Mol Syst Biol 16:e9649.

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Marian Walhout, Ph.D.
Chair - Department of Systems Biology
The Maroun Semaan Chair in Biomedical Research

University of Massachusetts Medical School
Albert Sherman Center, Room 5.1051
386 Plantation St.
Worcester, MA 01605
E-mail: Marian Walhout

Lynn NeJaime, Assistant to Dr. Walhout
Albert Sherman Center, Room 5.1053
Phone: 508-856-3601
Fax: 508-856-2105

Lab Phone: 508-856-4367

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