Analysis of proteome dynamics in single cell reprogramming proceeds

The ability to revert human cells back into a stem cell state, and then reprogram them into new cell fates has unlocked promise for future regenerative therapies. However, we still do not fully understand this reprogramming process and the interaction of proteins that make this happen. Mass spectrometry (or MS; a common technique to study molecules using a mass-to-charge ratio) may allow us to identify these unknowns but would require the collection of a large number of cells undergoing identical stages of reprogramming – a feat that is not experimentally practical or feasible. Additionally, these analyses can only be performed on the collection of cells as a whole, thereby identifying average characteristics, rather than studying each cell individually. To address these challenges, we have developed a cutting-edge platform called DISCO (Digital microfluidic Isolation of Single Cells for -Omics) that permits us to perform single-cell analysis on the proteins within a cell. In this project, we will partner with SCIEX, an Ontario-based leader in MS technology solutions, to further develop the technological capabilities of single-cell analysis.

Jiaxi Peng
Faculty Supervisor: 
Aaron Wheeler
Partner University: