Unravelling cellular circuitry with single cell RNA-seq and CRISPR (Masters option available)

Unravelling cellular circuitry with single cell RNA-seq and CRISPR (Masters option available)

Project details

Two recent developments in biotechnology allow for unprecedented insights into cellular circuity – the sequence of gene expression that converts a stem cell to the multitude of different cell types. 

Single cell RNA-seq – providing unbiased gene expression analyses of individual cells - has revolutionised the understanding of cellular heterogeneity by enabling the discovery of the novel and pre-existing cells (fruits) that make up a tissue (fruit smoothie). CRISPR allows for the rapid testing and validation of genes identified in this way.

This project will use these technologies to unravel the circuitry of haematopoietic stem and progenitor cells that differentiate into immune cells. It would suit someone with interests in principles of cell differentiation (chromatin, transcription factors, gene circuitry), haematopoiesis/developmental immunology, computational modelling and cutting-edge biotechnology techniques.


About our research group

Our lab studies how the cells of the immune system are formed from blood stem cells. Stem and progenitor cells make ‘decisions’ in order to generate our various tissues and organs. Without these decisions, we would be undifferentiated blobs without eyes and ears, livers and hearts, skin and bone. To discover the steps of how a stem cell divides and ultimately turns into an organ, we utilise new technologies that interrogate the individual cells, rather than the population as a whole. Our ultimate goal is to advance strategies for manipulating blood stem cells that may have future applications for stem cell therapy or immune therapy, and provide insights into cancer formation.


Dr Shalin Naik

Dr Shalin Naik in the laboratory
Laboratory Head

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