Evan Macosko, MD PhD, is the first awardee of the Stanley/MGH Fellowship in Psychiatric Neuroscience and Genetics, a new fellowship supported by the Broad Institute’s Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research.
The fellowship will support Evan in his work to develop new technology to make possible the simultaneous profiling of genome-wide gene expression in thousands of individual cells – a technology with which Evan hopes to transform the biological study of function, dysfunction, and gene expression in the brain. Evan’s technology, called Drop-Seq, involves simultaneously encapsulating thousands of individual cells in nanoliter-sized droplets, the aqueous compartments that water molecules spontaneously form in oil/aqueous mixtures (“emulsions”). Evan has developed a way to massively barcode the contents of droplets with DNA sequences; his approach allows the RNA from thousands of individual cells to be processed into sequencing libraries in a single, inexpensive reaction that remembers the cell-of-origin of each RNA.
“Evan is a fearless scientist and has been creative and relentless in developing new ways to analyze the biology of complex tissues like the brain,” said his research mentor Steve McCarroll.
Evan began this research in the McCarroll lab while pursuing his residency in the MGH/McLean Research Residency Program, which allowed Evan to devote substantial time to research while training as a psychiatry resident. Evan also recently received the NIMH Outstanding Resident Award. Evan previously trained as a molecular neuroscientist in Cori Bargmann’s lab at Rockefeller University while obtaining his MD/PhD at Rockefeller and Weill Cornell Medical College. His work on Drop-Seq is a collaboration with Anindita Basu in Harvard’s Department of Applied Physics.