Weizmann Institute of Science
Studying epigenetic memory at single cell resolution
We will describe approaches for single cell and single molecule analysis of genome regulation. These new methods provide us with high resolution maps of the transcriptional states of individual cells within tissues, and with data on the epigenetic and chromosomal mechanisms that regulate such states. In many cases, as we exemplified using data on mouse embryogenesis and hematopoiesis, the remarkable specificity of the transcriptional response cannot be explained by data on transcription factors activity, enhancer epigenetic states, or chromosome conformation. Potential methodologies for integrating these regulatory layers will be discussed. In particular we will discuss the possibility of synergistic enhancer hubs as drivers for specific regulatory decisions in repressive and active contexts.
Amos Tanay is an Associate Professor and Kimmel investigator in the department of Computer Science and the department of Biological Regulation at the Weizmann Institute. Amos’s background is in Mathematics, and he spent several years in the Israeli start-up industry before coming back to Tel-Aviv University and completing his PhD in Computational Biology. He did postdoctoral training at Rockefeller University and later established his own research group at Weizmann. The Tanay group is combining computational and experimental work to study genomic and epigenomic regulation at multiple scales, from the nucleotide level and up to the physical conformations of entire chromosomes. By developing quantitative, high-resolution experiments, the group explores how heterogeneous populations of single cells within tissues acquire, memorize, and later modify their functional states.