Evan Macosko has received the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, a grant that funds high-risk, high-reward projects from early-career investigators. The proposed project must be deemed creative and high-impact, and since the investigator cannot have received a previous R01, preliminary data is optional. The New Innovators are considered to be among the best and brightest newcomers to PI-dom and each receive a bio on the NIH website, along with $300K per year of flexible spending for their lab.
Evan has been a co-PI on other grants, but this award is his first major grant as a solo PI. The project he proposed was Slide-seq, a technique to investigate gene expression while preserving spatial resolution or put another way: to see which RNA is where across a tissue. Read More
Amnon Koren has won the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, a grant that funds high-risk, high-reward projects from creative, budding scientists at the beginning of their careers as independent investigators. The New Innovators are considered to be among the best and brightest newcomers to PI-dom and each receive a bio on the NIH website, along with $300K per year of flexible spending for their lab.
Amnon, who was previously a postdoc in the McCarroll lab, started his own lab at Cornell University a year ago. There, he spent his first month grant writing at a makeshift desk hunched over his laptop, because his office was being renovated and his desktop computer hadn’t been shipped. Read More
Evan Macosko has been named a top inventor in the MIT Technology Review’s “35 Innovators Under 35” for his work on inventing Drop-seq.
Evan’s Drop-seq technology, which he developed during his postdoctoral research in the McCarroll lab, makes it possible to analyze gene expression in thousands of individual cells simultaneously. Evan and technician Melissa Goldman wrote a detailed Drop-seq protocol that has been downloaded from the lab website tens of thousands of times. Hundreds of labs have built Drop-seq setups from their detailed instructions. Companies like 10X Genomics, Illumina, and Bio-Rad have worked to develop commercial versions of droplet-based single-cell RNA-seq. Read More
NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is an organization dedicated to building better lives for Americans affected by mental illness. Each year, it awards scientists who have inspired hope through their research. This year (2016), Steve McCarroll, Beth Stevens, and Mike Carroll were presented with the award at the National Geographic in Washington, DC for their work in understanding the biology of schizophrenia. Here’s a clip! Read More
Arpy Saunders has received a three-year post-doctoral fellowship from the Helen Hay Whitney Foundation (HHW), marking another step on his scientific journey that started in a cabin in the New Hampshire woods. Having grown up there, it is no surprise that, before coming to our lab, he studied outdoorsy science such as bird behavior in Alaska and the genetics of wildflowers in Montana. Yet, he has a strong interest in language as well: he knows German and Armenian, studied quantitative linguistic phylogenetics at the Max Planck Institute, and taught English to children on a Micronesian island (though he may have been referring to the day our coffee machine broke and the entire lab resorted to grunting at each other). Read More
Matt Baum (a student in the lab) has written a book, published by Oxford University Press and available through Amazon, on the challenges and controversies involved in using disease biomarkers to evaluate patients, judge criminals, and make moral decisions. The book shines in its plethora of practical, thought-provoking examples and hypotheticals. In an example that highlights how our intuition of blame can shift, the reader is told of an imaginary woman who loses control of a truck and injures two pedestrians. The readers are asked how much they would blame the woman for losing control if (a) she had been driving recklessly, (b) she had an unexpected seizure, (c) she knew she had epilepsy but still decided to drive, or (d) she had biomarkers indicating she was at high risk for her first seizure but had ignored them. Read More
Two new papers from the McCarroll lab describe ways of using nanoliter droplets to answer questions in genetics and biology. Droplets provide a way of scaling molecular biological reactions across tens of thousands of tiny reaction compartments.
In Drop-phase, Jack Regan, Nolan Kamitaki and colleagues describe a way to quickly determine the chromosomal phase of multiple sequence variants, even when those variants are separated by substantial genomic distances. Their approach involves partitioning genomic DNA across thousands of droplets, then analyzing how alleles from different loci co-partition across the droplets.
In Drop-seq, Evan Macosko and colleagues describe a way to profile genome-wide gene expression in thousands of individual cells, in facile, inexpensive experiments. Read More
A common, pre-cancerous state can precede cancer by many years and is readily detectable by DNA sequencing, according to a new paper by Giulio Genovese and colleagues in the New England Journal of Medicine.
A process as fundamental as replication of a genome varies from person – shaped by common, inherited genetic variation that can also affect risk of cancer. The work is described in a new paper by Amnon Koren and colleagues in Cell.
Macosko will continue his work to develop "Drop-Seq", a technology for profiling gene expression in thousands of single cells at once.
The mystery had tantalized geneticists for 15 years: scores of genes and millions of bases of human DNA sequence had no home on maps of the human genome. Where in the human genome were they hiding? The mystery is solved – with mathematics – in a paper by Giulio Genovese and colleagues in Nature Genetics.
The citation for the award acknowledged Handsaker’s international leadership in the analysis of human genome structural variation.