Investigator Julia Zeitlinger, PhD, was awarded a four-year, approximately $2.3 million grant from the NIH’s National Human Genome Research Institute. This marks the first grant awarded to a Stowers scientist by this NIH institute.
Zeitlinger’s research focuses on how DNA sequence information in the genome controls gene regulation. The Zeitlinger Lab aims to develop breakthrough genomic techniques that will allow for the collection of “cis-regulatory” information. A cis-regulatory module is a stretch of DNA where a number of transcription factors can bind and regulate expression of nearby genes and regulate their transcription rates. However, scientists have encountered challenges with collecting and mapping cis-sequence information due to insensitive and sparse data.
Zeitlinger and her lab have developed a technique that will allow for improved data collection with smaller samples, eventually even as small as a single cell, yet with greater resolution and sensitivity. With better sampling technique and data collection, Zeitlinger hopes to improve the ability to study mammalian embryogenesis which may improve our understanding of development, evolution, and disease.