Animals' bodies are made up of a spectrum of cell types that are "neatly" organized to form functional organs. I am interested in mechanisms of gene regulation that give rise to this cell diversity during animal development. Having completed Ph.D.-level biochemistry and genomics research, I am now shifting my research focus to live-cell microscopy. I will apply the fast-advancing imaging techniques developed at Janelia Farm to understand the missing links between transcriptional regulation and cell-fate determination.
The Model System
In vitro differentiation of embryonic stem cell provides a minimal system to isolate and study critical regulatory factors of cell-fate commitment. I use this system to understand how DNA information is selectively decoded to trigger cell-type diversification during early embryonic lineage segregation. I am collaborating with several researchers at Janelia Farm, including the Transcription Imaging Consortium (consisting of the labs of Carl Wu, Robert Singer, and Robert Tjian) and the lab of Philipp Keller to study 1) enhancer-promoter communication, 2) dynamic protein-DNA interactions in the nucleus, and 3) the possible link between gene expression kinetics and cell-fate choices.
As of November 09, 2012