Research Unit

Cellular Engineering

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Research topic

David Knapp’s team makes use of genome editing tools together with synthetic gene circuits to allow precise control of cell molecular state. By coupling these molecular manipulations to high-throughput single-cell molecular and functional measurements, they are able to measure precise effects of these manipulations.

In order to study the molecular landscape of cell identity, they use such molecular manipulation and measurement on models of cellular reprogramming.

In addition, they apply these genome editing tools to understanding the functional effects of pre-leukemic mutations and how they contribute to the onset of leukemia.

Research objectives

A key research goal of the Knapp lab is to create a high-resolution map of the molecular landscape of cell identity/differentiation.

They then wish to use this map to develop new methods to efficiently produce therapeutically useful cells (such as hematopoietic and neural progenitors).

By comparing the routes of cell differentiation to those used in development and carcinogenesis, they hope to develop therapies to prevent cancer progression.

In addition, they seek to understand the cellular effects of common mutations which predispose individuals to leukemia, and what makes them go on to develop leukemia or not. This information will help form the basis of a risk stratification and leukemia prevention program.

Research topics

Research team