Whole genome sequencing has become increasingly straightforward in recent years, though our understanding of the regulatory genome – the noncoding portion of the genome dictating where, when, and to what level genes are expressed – remains incomplete. Research in the Slattery lab explores the mechanisms by which transcription factors interact with noncoding regulatory DNA elements, also known as enhancers, to influence cell fate decisions. They use an integrative approach centered on three major themes – DNA binding specificity, context-specific genomics, and cis-regulatory element dissection – to characterize gene regulatory networks controlling the response to environmental stress. Importantly, this approach also allows them to identify and test noncoding DNA variants linking the response to cell stress with various disease states. In recent years, the lab has also been involved in the intersection of stress-linked gene expression and neuroscience.