My research interests have always lain in evolution, especially in the many ways in which natural selection has influenced our species — and our genomes. My work has consistently broadened our understanding of the means by which multiple cellular processes interact to regulate gene expression, and, under the action of natural selection, ultimately give rise to differences in phenotype.

My research explores both features that are unique to humans and differentiate us from our closest relatives as well as the diversity present within present-day human populations. Mechanistically, I am particularly interested in the interplay between variation at genetic and environmental levels, and the impact these two forces have on gene expression within cells. I am also very interested in understanding the genetic contributions of Denisovans, an archaic hominin group that possibly lived in Island Southeast Asia as recently as 30,000 years ago, to present-day individuals living in the region.

Selected publications

M. Natri, G. Hudjashov, G. S. Jacobs, P. Kusuma, L. Saag, C. C. Darusallam, M. Metspalu, H. Sudoyo, M. P. Cox*, I. Gallego Romero* and N. E. Banovich*, Genetic architecture of gene regulation in Indonesian populations identifies QTLs associated with local ancestry and archaic introgression. (2022) American Journal of Human Genetics. 109(1):50-65, doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2021.11.017.* denotes equal contribution.

Vespasiani, G.S. Jacobs, L.E. Cook, N. Brucato, M. Leavesley, C. Kinipi, F.X. Ricaut, M.P. Cox and I. Gallego Romero, Denisovan introgression has shaped the immune system of present-day Papuans. (2022) PLOS Genetics, 18(12):e1010470.

Natri*, K. S. Bobowik*, P. Kusuma, C. C. Darusallam, G. S. Jacobs, G. Hudjashov, J.S. Lansing, H. Sudoyo, N.E. Banovich**, M.P. Cox**, I. Gallego Romero**. Genome-wide DNA methylation and gene expression patterns reflect genetic ancestry and environmental differences across the Indonesian archipelago. (2021) PLOS Genetics, 16(5): e1008749. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1008749. * and ** denote equal contributions.

I. Gallego Romero*, B.J. Pavlovic*, I. Hernando-Herraez, X. Zhou, M.C. Ward, N.E. Banovich, C.L. Kagan, J.E. Burnett, C.H. Huang, A. Mitrano, C.I. Chavarria, I.F. Ben-Nun, Y. Li, K. Sabatini, T.R. Leonardo, M. Parast, T. Marques-Bonet, L.C. Laurent, J.F. Loring, and Y. Gilad. Generation of a Panel of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells From Chimpanzees: a Resource for Comparative Functional Genomics. (2015) eLife, doi: 10.7554/eLife.07103

Gallego Romero, A. A. Pai, J. Tung and Y. Gilad. RNA-seq: Impact of RNA degradation on transcript quantification. (2014) BMC Biology, 12:42 doi:10.1186/1741-7007-12-42.



Related news