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About Us

Our Research

The McManus lab uses systematic and synthetic approaches to study fundamental processes relating to the regulation of gene function. We operate in a diversity of research areas- including RNA biology and developing cutting-edge research tools to answer fundamental biological questions. We take high-throughput approaches, analyzing hundreds of thousands to millions of experiments at once, using unique and complex libraries coupled to deep sequencing.  Our systems span from cell culture to in vivo models, focusing on a broad array of disease relevant tissues.  From cancer to diabetes, we develop novel technologies to help us better understand how genes are regulated and how they function in cells.  We aim to uncover the dark matter of the genome, to help unravel the beautiful genomic complexity of pathways and how genes interact in development and disease. We develop new technologies to address unmet challenges and advance science in leaps and bounds through collaboration. 

Systematically deconvoluting molecular networks of genes. A major challenge in the field is thus separating the wheat from the chaff– a challenge that requires the use of innovative, high throughput approaches to address function. Our lab embraces genome-scale function-based screening and other high-throughput methodologies to uncover gene function in the mammalian system. Life depends on genetically encoded networks to help make sophisticated decisions influenced by the environment. Our studies add significantly to our understanding of how cells react to their environments and will shed new insight into genomic dark matter.

Quantitative models for studying gene regulation. Although the genome has been sequenced, there remains a lot of mystery about its content.  Our lab is interested in understanding how genes contribute to the specification of cell fate and function, and how deregulation by mutations of epigenetic alteration contributes to human disease. There is a big future for the study of genetics and molecular biology- particularly as genome deep sequencing technology matures and personalized medicine becomes a reality.  

Applying systems biology approaches to human disease models. Our group contains outstanding scientists from highly diverse fields including developmental biology, immunology, neurobiology, cancer, and biophysics. The diversity of our research areas reflects the freedom each trainee has to explore his/her passions and the open collaborative spirit of the lab. In the broadest sense possible, we apply high-throuput systems/synthetic biology approaches to fundamental problems in health and disease.  If you enjoy performing cutting-edge interdisciplinary research in an exciting and highly collaborative environment, please apply to our lab.  


We illuminate the dark matter of the genome.  We unravel how genes act in mammalian development and disease.

  • Noncoding and Coding RNA
  • Regulatory pathways
  • Developing new technologies
  • Functional genomics


Life is short. We became scientists to make discoveries in leaps and bounds.  Think big.  Be audacious.

  • Problem solve creatively
  • Look at the big picture
  • Imagine that everything is possible
  • Do science at the highest level


To use synthetic biology approaches to solve fundamental problems in mammalian systems biology. 

  • Train the next generation of scientists
  • Promote Diversity and Inclusion
  • Collaborate to solve difficult problems
  • Remember to have fun