Frank Alber

Professor of Molecular & Computational Biology,
Department of Biological Sciences, USC

Portrait photo: Frank Alber

Frank Alber is an associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and part of the Molecular and Computational Biology section at the USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences. Alber and his team study the 3D organization of genomes, focusing on the structural organization of the genome in eukaryotes, organisms whose cells contain a nucleus.

Structure is memory, actually.

“It's like a mailman is just randomly walking around, and if he happens to hit the building, for some reason he knows he has to deliver the mail in that building. But until he is in front of the building he has no clue where he's going.”

“How did the first cities actually evolve, like 10 thousand years ago or so? Because of specialization, a group of people who focused on just one area of life, otherwise you're just a hunter-gatherer, you have to do everything by yourself. Once you're specializing to different arenas then it allows you to come together. Is that also for cells?”