Work from Research Assistant Professor Darren Cusanovich, PhD's Laboratory in collaboration with his former colleagues at the University of Washington developed a new single-cell chromatin assay that can generate data on 100s of thousands or millions of cells at a time. The group then used this method to profile how the genome regulates gene expression across various tissues of the human body. This represents one of the largest single-cell chromatin datasets ever published and suggests many novel aspects of human biology, including cataloging regulatory elements across 17% of the genome, identifying a novel regulator of neuronal development and helping to highlight the adrenal gland as a normal site of red blood cell production in development. Read more here.
Research Assistant Professor Darren Cusanovich, PhD, recently received an ESI MIRA R35 grant, a 5-year award for early career investigators from the NIGMS, for his proposal entitled "Beyond Pseudotime: Enhanced Single-cell Genomics Tools for Understanding the Temporal Dynamics of Development and Disease." This grant will fund work in the Cusanovich lab aimed at developing better tools for measuring (at single cell resolution) how gene expression and gene regulatory patterns change over time. You can find more information about his group's work here.
Research from Casey Romanoski, PhD's Laboratory - led by Genetics PhD student Lindsey Stolze - linked polymorphisms in people's DNA sequence with molecular characteristics of how cells convert genetic code into the building blocks for proteins. This report is among the very first to use molecular Quantiative Trait Locus mapping at such depth, and the first to apply it in human endothelial cells. The authors pinpoint DNA polymorphisms that cause particular genes to be made into cellular building blocks at different rates across people, which serves as a springboard for understanding individualized disease risk and mechanisms to overcome it. PMID: 32442411
Johan Lindqvist, PhD and the laboratory of Henk Granzier, PhD recently published a paper in Nature Communications describing a novel mouse model of nemaline myopathy, a heterogenous disease with unclear pathological mechanisms. This novel mouse model mimics the most common genetic cause of the nemaline myopathy and demonstrates that the muscle weakness in this model is associated with twisted actin filaments and altered tropomyosin and troponin behavior. PMID: 32483185
Helen Amerongen, PhD was recently awarded a 2020 College of Medicine Mentoring Award, which honors faculty members who demonstrate outstanding commitment to the mentorship of junior faculty. Recipients were formally recognized at the May General Faculty Meeting of the College of Medicine – Tucson. Read more here
Research Assistant Professor Darren Cusanovich, PhD was announced as one of four recipients of the UAHS Career Development Award this year. The CDA program, established in 2014, provides research training and funding for junior faculty members to foster academic careers in clinical and translational research. The award will support Dr. Cusanovich's work, in collaboration with Dr. Mohamed Ahmed in Neonatology, using single-cell genomics to better understand the pathogenesis of bronchopulmonary dysplasia, a lung disease that affects prematurely born children. Read more here.