Your income and your DNA

Q&A: Coffee break with TRANSFAC

Event was held on April 2, 2024

FREE online webseminar

Seminar Description

Is your level of income written in your DNA? This question will be considered in this “Coffee break with TRANSFAC” which will be hosted by Dr. Alexander Kel. 

You will follow his analysis of GWAS results on 286 thousands people’s household income that was published in Nature (Hill D et al., 2019). Authors compared people’s income with their SNPs in the genome and revealed 120 income-associated loci. Is it a lot or just a little? What do they tell us in terms of brain pathways, human behavior and mental disorders? 

You will learn how SNPs may change TF binding sites. How do they change enhancers in the genome that in turn affect important signaling pathways acting in the brain? 

You will see the results of master regulator analysis and become curious about the potential role of oxytocin in influencing your income.

What you will learn in this webseminar 

  • TRANSFAC database and geneXplain platform – brief overview.
  • How SNPs and SNVs are changing TF binding sites? Site gain and site loss.
  • Principles of analysis of site enrichment and site combinations in enhancers.
  • Analysis of GWAS results from (Hill D et al., 2019) “Genome-wide analysis identifies molecular systems and 149 genetic loci associated with income”.
  • Considering the critique of the approach:
  • How enhancer analysis can help to find master regulators of signaling pathways in brain?
  • How master regulators such as oxytocin can rewire the regulatory system?

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The Lecturer

  • Alexander Kel received his Ph.D. in Bioinformatics, Molecular Biology and Genetics in 1990 and has has over 35 years of research experience in Bioinformatics
  • He studied at Novosibirsk State University, obtaining an M.S. in biology with a focus on mathematical biology in 1985
  • His work spans numerous bioinformatics branches (sequence analysis, gene recognition, promoter/enhancer analysis and prediction, prediction of RNA secondary structure, analysis of signal transduction pathways, identification of drug targets, systems biology and systems medicine)
  • He is the originator of the “fuzzy puzzle” concept for gene regulatory regions modeling
  • Developed “upstream analysis” for identifying biomarkers and drug targets in various diseases
  • Participated in over 20 national and international research projects
  • Author of more than 130 scientific publications and several book chapters on bioinformatics and systems biology
  • CEO and CSO of geneXplain GmbH, Wolfenbüttel, Germany
  • Visiting Professor at Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), Dublin, Ireland


Basic knowledge of biochemistry and molecular biology. No programming skills are required.

To Whom It Might Be Interesting

  • Bench biologists seeking for ways to deal with sequencing data in order to discover what is hidden there in terms of genes, promoters, and repressors.

Previous webseminars on SNP analysis

04 April 2023, the fifth “Coffee break with TRANSFAC” session

How to find motifs created or destroyed by SNPs

25 April 2023, the sixth “Coffee break with TRANSFAC” session

How to apply TRANSFAC for analysis of cancer mutations

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