Motivated by the intricacy and complexity of cellular differentiation, I am broadly interested in technology development for measuring and tracking cellular decision-making. My current research focuses on applying genome editing to engineer new tools for synthetic biology and genomics; in my talk, I will present two recent projects. In the first, I used CRISPR/Cas9 to write a cell’s lineage into its genome and create updatable sequence barcodes. I tested our approach in C. elegans and showed that our updating barcodes captured the specification of its intestinal lineage. In addition, I mathematically modeled and simulated these systems to explore their coding capacity. I will highlight the potential of CRISPR-enabled barcoding and how forthcoming versions of this technique can be improved. In the second project, I discovered IgnaviCas9, a novel Cas9 protein from a hyperthermophilic Ignavibacterium. IgnaviCas9 is a valuable addition to the CRISPR/Cas9 toolbox, significantly expands the temperature range at which genome editing is possible, and enables improved molecular biology and genomics workflows.
Speaker: Stephanie Tzouanas Schmidt, Stanford
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