Genomic studies of bulk tissue give insight into pathways, gene regulatory networks and epigenetic modifications that play a role in disease. Yet it is clear that every tissue is comprised of diverse cell types that work together to drive biological processes and behaviors. Studies of bulk tissue miss rare cells that are important in disease and gives population averages that obscure genomic features present in a subset of cells. Recent advances in single cell genomics allows us to sequence DNA and study RNA expression and epigenetic modifications in individual cells. It has had a substantial impact on our understanding of development, the immune system, CNS and cancer. We are in the process of bringing single cell technologies to the Center for Computational Systems Biology at Prairie View A & M. I will discuss various single cell RNAseq technologies and technical challenges with single cell isolation, library preparation and data analysis. I will also outline capabilities we plan to acquire that will distinguish our center from other single cell labs.
Dr. Anna Joy is a Research Associate Professor in the Center for Computational Systems Biology. Her research focus is to understand mechanisms of tumorigenesis, progression and therapy resistance in Glioblastoma brain tumors for discovery of novel drug targets and treatment biomarkers. She has elucidated an unexpected role for a member of the PI3K/AKT tumor driver pathway that has consequences for pathway inhibitors. She is also developing a biomarker that shows promise in identifying Glioblastoma patients that will have an exceptional response to nitrosoureas and is working to understand the biology underlying this phenomenon.