New Tools for Systems Biology
Single Cell and Cell Type-Specific Analysis of Transcription and Translation with Single Molecule Imaging and Next-Generation Sequencing
Cells respond heterogeneously to chemical and genetic perturbations. The origin of this heterogeneity ranges from differences in cell morphology, microenvironment, and cell cycle stage to diversity in gene expression, epigenetic state, and genomic stability. Hence, single cell approaches are crucial to unbiased, system-wide analyses of biological samples. We are developing new devices, fluorescent probes, and sequencing tools to study transcription and translation in individual cells and specific cellular populations.
Optical, Microfluidic, and Sequencing-based Approaches to Ultrasensitive Protein Identification and Proteomics
The ultimate success of the recent revolution in DNA sequencing hinges in part on the ability of proteomics to connect genomics with phenotypes. However, the tools available to reseachers and clinicians for protein analysis lag far behind those for nucleic acid analysis. This is because proteins are structurally complex and have no analog of base-pairing or template-dependent replication, making them much more difficult to identify and detect. We are leveraging recent advances in imaging, microfludics, and sequencing to tackle this important challenge with the hope of enabling proteomic analysis of individual cells.