A single cell biopsy platform to study dynamic transcriptional changes in cancer

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Dept of Chemistry


The current dogma is that individual cancers change via classical Darwinian evolution operating on
genetically heterogeneous cancer populations. However recent developments in single-cell
technologies suggest that individual cells can have different trajectories independently from genetic
events, mostly via quick transcriptional adaptation. A considerable limitation of single-cell
technologies is the inability to measure the exact same cells over time. Thus, all measurements are
by definition correlative and strongly limit data interpretation. Our team will address this fundamental
limitation by developing a cellular biopsy to dynamically measure the transcriptome of individual
cancer cells over extended periods. JBE and AI will build on a recently developed nanotweezer able
to capture cytoplasmic nucleic acids in living cells, while LM has developed an assay to track the
evolution of single cells. In this multidisciplinary project, the CDT student will apply this collective
expertise to develop a novel platform to perform high-throughput cellular biopsies and dynamically
measure RNA transcription in cancer cells during early oncogenesis and clinical treatment.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/S023518/1 01/10/2019 31/03/2028
2276796 Studentship EP/S023518/1 01/10/2019 30/09/2023 Anthony Monteza Cabrejos