Research Excellence During Residency and Beyond

Posted: May 26th, 2015

Evan Macosko, Class of 2014, Steven McCarroll, director of genetics for the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, and Anindita Basu describe Drop-seq. Video: Boston Science Communications In a recent paper published in Cell, resident alum Evan Macosko (Class of 2014) details a high-throughput techniques to quickly, easily, and inexpensively sequence individual cell types in a mixed sample with a machine called Drop-seq. Using traditional techniques scientists are able to analyze the RNA makeup of a chunk of group up tissues, revealing little about the differences between individual cells which make up the tissue sample. Alternatively, researchers can generate 96 single-cell expression profiles per day for several thousand dollars. By comparison, Drop-seq is able to profile up to 10,000 cells per day for 6.5 cents per cell. “If you’re a biologist with an interesting question in mind, this approach could shine a light on the problem without bankrupting you,” Macosko said of Drop-seq. “It finally makes gene expression profiling on a cell-by-cell level tractable and accessible. I think it’s something biologists in a lot of fields will want to use.” Click here to read a more in depth article on the technology in from Harvard Medical School. Earlier this month, the work of another current resident, rising PGY4 Tom McCoy, was also mentioned in a blog post and Science viewpoint article by current NIMH director Tom Insel. Tom's work with mentor Roy Perlis used sentiment analysis of clinical inpatient medical records to predict hospital length of stay using an RDoC framework (McCoy et al. American Journal of Psychiatry 2015). NIMH director, Tom Insel cited the study as an example of how the new RDoC framework is applicable to and may help improve clinical practice. Click here to read Dr. Insel's full blog post. Tom McCoy and Evan Macosko are currently Stanley Center Fellows in Neuroscience and Genetics at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT.

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