Potential applications include precise early cancer detection
An interdisciplinary team of researchers at the University of California San Diego has developed a technology for very accurate sequencing and haplotyping of genomes from single human cells. Their findings were published online in advance of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)* print edition.
“Accurate sequencing of single cells will enable the identification of mutations that cause cancer and genetic disease,” said senior author Kun Zhang, a professor of bioengineering in the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. “At the same time, precise haplotyping will allow for the genotyping of haplotypes, combinations of different genes or alleles as a group from either parent.”
Zhang’s co-authors from the Department of Bioengineering include professor Xiaohua Huang and postdoctoral researcher and alumnus Wai Keung Chu (M.S., Ph.D. ’11, ’16), who is first author on the PNAS article. Collaborators on the research from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) include professor Vineet Bafna, who is a bioinformatics expert in the Center for Microbiome Innovation, the CHO Systems Biology Center and the Qualcomm Institute, all at UC San Diego. Others from CSE include Ph.D. student Peter Edge, and CSE alumnus Vikas Bansal (Ph.D. ’08), now a faculty-affiliate in CSE and professor of pediatrics in the UC San Diego School of Medicine. Adding to the project’s interdisciplinary roots is Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) alumnus Ho Suk Lee (M.S., Ph.D. ’11, ’15), now at Broadcom, who lent his expertise in microfluidic devices for single-cell analysis as well as years of working in the bioengineering labs of both professors Zhang and Huang.