Institute of Genetics and Cancer

Cross-Disciplinary Fellow contributes to Nature paper on multi-omics profiling of gastrulation

The research Dr Chantriolnt-Andreas Kapourani was involved in has implications for the role of the epigenome in defining cell-lineage commitment : January 2020

The process of gastrulation
The process of gastrulation.

Cross-Disciplinary Fellow Dr Chantriolnt-Andreas Kapourani recently contributed to a study published in the journal Nature. The work, titled 'Multi-omics profiling of mouse gastrulation at single cell resolution', involved researchers from the United Kingdom, Germany, China and Canada, and provided a single-cell resolution multi-omics map of chromatin accessibility, DNA methylation and RNA expression during the onset of gastrulation in mouse embryos.

Gastrulation is a phase early in the embryonic development of most animals, during which the single-layered blastula is reorganized into a multilayered structure known as the gastrula. The process of gastrulation is of fundamental importance for subsequent tissue formation and organ development. 

These results have important implications for the role of the epigenome (chemical changes to the DNA and histone proteins of an organism) in defining cell-lineage commitment.

Future studies that use multi-omics approaches to investigate cell populations have the potential to transform our understanding of cell-fate decisions, with important implications for stem cell biology.

About the The Cross-Disciplinary Fellowships [XDF] Programme

The Cross-Disciplinary Fellowships [XDF] Programme at the University of Edinburgh partners the MRC Institute of Genetics & Molecular Medicine (IGMM) with the School of Informatics (SoI) to maximise new cross-disciplinary opportunities in scientific discovery at the Life Sciences-Computational interface, and their translational and innovation impact. It is led by a panel of directors currently including Prof Chris Ponting (MRC Human Genetics Unit/IGMM), Prof Margaret Frame (Cancer Research UK Edinburgh Centre/IGMM), Prof Tim Aitman (Centre for Genomic and Experimental Medicine/IGMM), Prof Ian Tomlinson (Cancer Research UK Edinburgh Centre/IGMM), Prof Jane Hillston, Dr Matthias Henning and Dr Diego Oyarzun (all from the SoI), who are supported by Dr Arkadiusz Welman (Cancer Research UK Edinburgh Centre/IGMM) acting as scientific administrator.

The Programme has been designed to recruit analytically minded people from disciplines such as physics, mathematics, computer sciences and similar, to help solve some of the most challenging problems of contemporary biomedical research. The first recruits joined the XDF Programme in 2018, with second cohort recruited in 2019 and third group joining in 2020. Fellows integrate with the scientific community in Edinburgh as well as collaborations with colleagues at IGMM, across the University, and beyond.

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