New Faculty 2023

University of Chicago Griffin Crest Logo

Ronan O’Malley

Assistant Professor
Department of Human Genetics and the College

Ronan O’Malley’s research focuses on understanding the gene regulatory networks underlying plant and animal traits, and investigating how they evolve to allow organisms to adapt to new environments and stresses. He leverages functional genomic and epigenomic tools, incorporating single cell genomics, high-throughput mutant screens, and DAP-seq, a technique he pioneered that enables the detection of transcription factor binding sites across the genome. He recently developed multiplexed DAP-seq (multiDAP), an innovation that allows the identification of the evolutionary history of transcription factor binding sites. By applying multiDAP with single-nuclei RNA-seq and ATAC-seq to a wide range of species, O’Malley seeks to create comprehensive atlases of the gene regulatory networks in plants, animals, and bacteria, with the ultimate goal of establishing mechanistic models of stress response pathways to allow for the engineering of climate-resilient plants.

His work has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Nature Methods, mSphere, mSystems, Communications Biology, Scientific Data, Nature Communications, Cell Reports, Evolutionary Biology, The Plant Journal, Nature Protocols, Cell, Nature, and others.

O’Malley completed a BS in chemistry and a PhD in organic chemistry at the University of Chicago. He was most recently an investigator in environmental genomics and systems biology at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Read more about Ronan O’Malley