Gene regulation, genome-wide experimental and computational techniques – Rickard Sandberg's Group

We are studying global aspects of gene regulation by combining genome-wide experimental and computational techniques to deepen our understanding of the molecular nature of cell identities in development and disease.

In particular, we develop and use unbiased, quantitative single-cell transcriptomics to monitor cell identities at single-cell resolution during early mouse development and in cancer cells. We aim towards a better understanding of the molecular regulation of gene expression programs by the combined study of gene regulation acting on different levels (for example transcriptional and post-transcriptional) using next-generation sequencing techniques.

Currently, we are interested in generating a single-cell resolution map of an in vivo differentiation process and to this end we are using single-cell transcriptome analyses to analyze individual cells within the developing preimplantation embryos. When a mouse embryo develops into a blastocyst (after approximately 4 days) it contains roughly 60 cells, including the pluripotent inner cell mass while the remaining cells are trophectoderm progenitors. We would like to determine how and when the first signs of cellular differentiation occur, and to map out the key regulatory pathways involved in determining pluripotency in vivo.

We are also developing functional genomics tools that will help us to better identify gene regulatory interactions, for example those between promoters and distal enhancers and working on how to better integrate diverse sets of next-generation sequencing data.

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