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Mapping and engineering gene expression with chemical and spatial approaches

Dr. Hailing Shi
Tuesday, January 09, 2024
11:45 am - 12:45 pm
Dr. Hailing Shi, Broad Institute of MIT & Harvard
Chemistry Seminar Series

"Mapping and engineering gene expression with chemical and spatial approaches"

Precise RNA expression, tailored to specific brain regions, cell types, and subcellular compartments, is pivotal for orchestrating complex brain functions. In the first part of my talk, I will introduce confocal imaging-based spatial transcriptomics platform, STARmap, that seamlessly combines in situ hybridization, hydrogel tissue chemistry, and in situ sequencing technologies. Leveraging scalable experimental and computational pipelines, we have constructed a comprehensive spatial cell atlas of the mouse brain, revealing subregion-specific cell types, previously undiscovered tissue architectures, and viral tropisms. The second part of my talk transits to chemical modifications on messenger RNAs (mRNAs) and their far-reaching implications in gene expression regulation and development of RNA therapeutics. I will elaborate on how naturally occurring chemical modifications on mRNAs shape spatiotemporal gene expression, particularly in neurons undergoing activity. Furthermore, I will discuss the messenger-oligonucleotide conjugate RNAs (mocRNAs) design, showcasing how we can harness chemical modifications for engineering enhanced gene delivery vectors. Looking into the future, I will innovate and integrate chemical and spatial profiling approaches to understand tissue health and disease in-depth.

Hosted by the Department of Chemistry