Thursday, April 23, 2015
3:00PM – 4:00PM
The David L. Weaver Endowed Lectures in Biophysics and Computational Biology present:
Professor Stephen Quake
Lee Otterson Professor,
Bioengineering and Applied Physics, Stanford University
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
“Single Cell Genomics”
An exciting emerging area revolves around the use of microfluidic tools for single-cell genomic analysis. We have been using microfluidic devices for both gene expression analysis and for genome sequencing from single cells. In the case of gene expression analysis, it has become routine to analyze hundreds of genes per cell on hundreds to thousands of single cells per experiment. This has led to many new insights into the heterogeneity of cell populations in human tissues, especially in the areas of cancer and stem cell biology. These devices make it possible to perform “reverse tissue engineering” by dissecting complex tissues into their component cell populations, and they are also used to analyze rare cells such as circulating tumor cells or minor populations within a tissue. We have also used single-cell genome sequencing to analyze the genetic properties of microbes that cannot be grown in culture – the largest component of biological diversity on the planet – as well as to study the recombination potential of humans by characterizing the diversity of novel genomes found in the sperm of an individual. We expect that single cell genome sequencing will become a valuable tool in understanding genetic diversity in many different contexts.
Dr. Quake studied physics (BS 1991) and mathematics (MS 1991) at Stanford University, after which he earned a doctorate in theoretical physics from Oxford University (1994) as a Marshall Scholar. He then returned to Stanford University, where he spent two years as a postdoc in Steven Chu’s group.He joined the faculty of the California Institute of Technology in 1996, where he was ultimately appointed the Thomas and Doris Everhart Professor of Applied Physics and Physics. At Caltech, Quake received “Career” and “First” awards from the NSF and NIH and was named a Packard Fellow.These awards supported a research program that began with single molecule biophysics and soon expanded to include the inventions of single molecule sequencing and microfluidic large scale integration, and their applications to biology and human health. He moved back to Stanford University in 2005, where he is now the Lee Otterson Professor and an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
Dr. Quake is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Inventors, the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Medicine, the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and of the American Physical Society.
Reception to follow
The lecture is free and open to the community. The series honors the memory of David L. Weaver, a distinguished biophysicist and professor at Tufts University for whom the endowment was established in 2006. Its objective is to bring prominent scientists to UC Davis whose original research has been widely recognized as having a major impact in the fields of Biophysics and Computational Biology.