Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineInstitute of Clinical Sciences

Professor of Computational Biology



+44 (0)20 3313 8353b.lenhard Website




Mr Alastair Douglas Ivor Williams +44 (0)20 3313 4318




230ICTEM buildingHammersmith Campus





The development of complex organisms critically depends upon regulation of gene activity across dozens, hundreds or millions of cells in time and space. This regulation ensures the fidelity of development of complex structures and the overall function of the organism. Its disruption therefore often leads to disease.
We study gene regulation at the genomewide level using computational genomics and epigenomics. Our major research interests focus on:

  • Structure and function of gene promoters
  • Function and genomic distribution of gene regulatory elements
  • Function of transcription factors
  • Regulation of the production of transcription factors i.e. transcriptional regulatory networks (TRNs)
  • Association of different modes of regulation with epigenetic marks and their inheritance

Our recent work centres on the functional classification of core promoters, the development of methods to correctly assign regulatory elements to the genes they regulate, and the role of the epigenome in guiding development.



Hill PWS, Leitch HG, Requena CE, et al., 2018, Epigenetic reprogramming enables the transition from primordial germ cell to gonocyte, Nature, ISSN:0028-0836

Danks GB, Navratilova P, Lenhard B, et al., 2018, Distinct core promoter codes drive transcription initiation at key developmental transitions in a marine chordate., Bmc Genomics, Vol:19

Khan A, Fornes O, Stigliani A, et al., 2018, JASPAR 2018: update of the open-access database of transcription factor binding profiles and its web framework, Nucleic Acids Research, Vol:46, ISSN:0305-1048, Pages:D260-D266

Harmston N, Ing-Simmons E, Tan G, et al., 2017, Topologically associating domains are ancient features that coincide with Metazoan clusters of extreme noncoding conservation, Nature Communications, Vol:8, ISSN:2041-1723

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