I'm Rob, a postdoctoral researcher at the Max Delbruck Centre in Berlin. My main research interest is regulatory sequences in animal genomes - regions of DNA that can control the activity of other genes. I am especially interested the way that cells fold their DNA, and how this can influence the effects of these regulatory sequences. There is growing evidence that this folding may be disregulated in some human diseases, and I think research in this area has the potential for opening new therapeutic avenues.

I'm also a keen programmer, especially in python. I've contributed to a number of open source projects, including doit and metaseq. I'm currently writing a genome browser in python called EIYBrowse (Extend It Yourself Browser). I've found programming an invaluable skill during my research and I like to spread the knowledge around, so I contribute to and teach for Software Carpentry. I've written a series of Software Carpentry lessons on using python's doit for automating scientific analysis pipelines.

I still play my guitar every now and then, snowboard as often as I can (i.e. not very often), occasionally sing "Blue Moon" and love to cycle.

Here's some other stuff I've been enjoying recently:






  • 2016
  • Postdoctoral Researcher

    Berlin Institute for Medical Systems Biology, Berlin (Aug 2015-Current)

    • Working on chromatin folding and nuclear organization in Prof. Ana Pombo's laboratory
  • 2015
  • MRC Funded PhD Studentship

    MRC Clinical Sciences Centre, London (Oct 2011-Jul 2015)

    • Investigated regulation of gene expression by long-range chromatin interactions
    • Co-supervised by Prof. Ana Pombo (MDC) and Prof. Niall Dillon (CSC)
  • 2016
  • Technical Support & Research Assistant

    Charles Beagrie Ltd, Salisbury (Jan 2004-Current)

    • Assisted with data analysis and desktop research for UK Research Data Service Feasibility Study and Keeping Research Data Safe project
  • 2011
  • Research Assistant

    Department of Biochemistry, Cambridge University (Oct 2010-Aug 2011)

    • Studied C. crescentus polynucleotide phosphorylase in Prof. Ben Luisi’s group
    • Cloning, expression, protein affinity purification, enzymatic assays and crystallography
  • 2010
  • Cancer Research UK Summer Studentship

    CRUK London Research Institute, London (Holborn) (Jun 2010-Sep 2010)

    • Studied Polycomb group proteins and their interaction with the ncRNA HOTAIR with Dr. Gordon Peters
    • Chromatin Immunoprecipitation, qPCR, lentiviral shRNA knockdowns, qRT-PCR and western blotting
  • Research Assistant

    Department of Biochemistry, Cambridge University (Jan 2010-May 2010)

    • Development of the NMR analysis tool “DANGLE” with Dr. William Broadhurst
    • Programming, data analysis and statistical work to improve the accuracy of the DANGLE algorithm for predicting protein dihedral angles from chemical shift data
  • 2005
  • Work Experience Student

    Wellcome Trust Sanger Centre, Hinxton (Jun 2005-Jun 2005)

    • 1 week placement with an ENCODE project group
    • 1 week placement in the sequencing centre


Enhancer Journal Club: Enhancer runaway and the evolution of diploid gene expression

By: Rob Beagrie

I came across this very interesting theoretical paper about enhancer evolution a couple of months ago1 and thought it was worth a little discussion. The paper comes from Frederic Fyon and others at the CNRS in Montpellier. The original paper can be found at PLOS Genetics, and it's well …

Enhancer Journal Club: Functional annotation of native enhancers with a Cas9-histone demethylase fusion

By: Rob Beagrie

I really enjoyed Eric Mendenhall's 2013 paper in Nature Biotechnology1, where he was able to target LSD1 histone demethylase activity to endogenous enhancers using TALE fusion proteins (read my thoughts on that paper here). So I was very interested to see a similar approach published earlier this year in …

Enhancer Journal Club: Enhancer hijacking activates GFI1 family oncogenes in medulloblastoma

By: Rob Beagrie

I read a neat little paper in Nature just before Christmas about enhancer hijacking, which I think is a particularly interesting topic. The original paper can be found at: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v511/n7510/full/nature13379.html The abstract is as follows: Medulloblastoma is a highly malignant …



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Email me at rob{at}beagrie.com

Rob Beagrie

MRC Clinical Sciences Centre

Hammersmith Hospital


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