Harmen Bussemaker

Harmen Bussemaker


Chair, Department of Biological Sciences


Department of Biological Sciences
Department of Systems Biology
Center for Computational Biology and Bioinformatics
Program for Mathematical Genomics


Work: (212) 854-9932

Harmen Bussemaker is chair and professor in the Department of Biological Sciences. His credentials include a Lenfest Distinguished Columbia Faculty Award and a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. Dr. Bussemaker is known for his pioneering efforts to understand gene regulatory networks by integrating information about genome sequence, transcription factor binding, and gene expression data. Using high-throughput sequencing and affinity-based selection, the Bussemaker lab aims to quantify the DNA binding specificity of transcription factors at unprecedented resolution. He is also using biophysical models to infer cell-state specific changes in the regulatory activity of transcription factors from genomewide mRNA expression levels. Other efforts include using natural genetic variation to dissect complex cis-regulatory logic, and understanding how local chromatin context modulates the influence of transcription factors on its target genes.

More News


Grad Spotlight: Judith Kribelbauer, PhD
Graduating PhD student Judith Kribelbauer aims to understand at a mechanistic level how transcription factors recognize and bind the DNA of a target gene and by doing so, regulate that particular gene’s transcription. The chance to work with researchers spanning areas from biology to chemistry and physics to computer science is what first drew her to Columbia and ultimately to pursuing systems biology.
Building a Better Way to Decode the Genome
Columbia University researchers have developed a computational tool that shines a light on the genome’s most hard-to-translate segments. With this tool in hand, scientists can get closer to understanding how DNA guides everything from growth and development to aging and disease.
Two Faculty Win Vagelos Precision Medicine Pilot Award
Professors Harmen Bussemaker and Tuuli Lappalainen have received an inaugural Roy and Diana Vagelos Precision Medicine Pilot Award. Their research collaboration will bridge quantitative genetics and mechanistic biology to better understand regulatory effects of genetic variants in humans.
New Method for Identifying Genetic Alterations that Modulate Gene Expression
The Bussemaker Lab showed that variants in cofactor genes called cQTLs can change the connectivity between transcription factors and their target genes.
Four Columbia Systems Biology Papers Named among Top Publications
The ISCB/RECOMB Conference on Regulatory and Systems Genomics has announced its top 10 papers of 2014-2015. Four of them involve investigators from the Columbia University Department of Systems Biology.