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Professor in Bioinformatics, Pål Sætrom

Professor in Bioinformatics, Pål Sætrom

1st of March, Pål Sætrom started his professorship at the Department of Computer and Information Science (IDI). Pål Sætrom is our first professor in Bioinformatics. His residence will be at the 4th floor, in room 416.


Research Career

Pål Sætrom holds both a MSc in Computer Science and a doctoral degree (Dr.Phil.) in Bioinformatics from NTNU. The MSc was completed in January 2001, and the doctoral degree in November 2005.

Pål has an untraditional background, since he did his doctoral research while working as a scientist for two companies (Fast Search & Transfer AS and Interagon AS). As a commercial scientist he worked on hardware accelerated machine learning and its applications in molecular biology. He researched applications both in general molecular biology and in the world of non-coding RNAs and small regulatory RNAs.

After the disputation, Pål joined John J. Rossi’s RNA interference (RNAi) and HIV-therapy lab at City of Hope’s Beckman Research Institute in California. The work in California was funded through a post doctoral fellowship from the Department of Computer and Information Science at NTNU and research fellowships related to the Functional Genomics (FUGE) program run by the Norwegian Research Council (NFR).

Pål Sætrom and his colleagues in California received the PNAS 2008 Cozzarelli Prize in Biological Sciences for their discovery of the first microRNA (miRNA) regulating transcription in mammalian cells.

Pål returned to NTNU in 2007 on a personal career fellowship from NTNU’s strategic research area in Medical Technology. He joined the DNA Repair Research Group at the Department of Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine (IKM). At the same time he also held an adjunct associate professor position at our department.

When starting at IKM, he secured a large career research fellowship from NFR. Pål has since then lead the group’s research on small regulatory RNAs. The research included efforts to predict miRNA targeting and the effects of genetic variation on miRNA regulation, understanding miRNAs role in specific processes such as the cell cycle, and developing design methods for robust therapeutic RNAs.

Pål Sætrom and colleagues from IKM, IDI, HUNT Research Centre, and Department of Biotechnology recently received new funding from NRF's eVITA program. The funding was given to develop a solution for storing and integrating high-throughput biobank data to identify disease-causing genetic variation.

The long-term goal of Pål Sætrom's research is to develop and use computational models to predict how changes in gene regulation can control development and cause disease.

By: Kai Torgeir Dragland     Published: 04.03.2011     
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