Single Cell Transcriptomics, Proteomics and Developmental Strategies

The development of new single cell transcriptomic measurements in our lab using droplet fluidics has opened up questions of cell identify and the variability of pathways of differentiation.  Similarly new quantitative proteomic methods, which we have helped develop have allowed us to understand gene and protein regulation in developing systems, particularly Xenopus embryos.  In particular posttranslational regulation has hardly been studied in embryonic development and we are devoting particular efforts in improving the quantitation and reliability of applying these to developmental systems.

Q1. Is patterning in early vertebrate development a process of stabilizing spontaneous variation in the responding cells or is it a hierarchical cascade initiated by external signals. 

Q2.  Early Xenopus development precedes by an 8 hour period where there is virtually no transcription.  Does spatial or compositional complexity arise during this period by protein modification, particularly phosphorylation? 

Q 3. Can we use kinase perturbations and kinome regularization to discover new features of developmental circuits at the level of individual kinases and individual phosphorylation sites?