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BE Seminar: “Mapping and engineering gene expression with chemical and spatial lenses” (Hailing Shi, Broad Institute & MIT)
February 8 at 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Precise RNA expression, tailored to specific brain regions, cell types, and subcellular compartments, is pivotal for orchestrating complex brain functions. In the first part of my talk, I will introduce a confocal imaging-based spatial transcriptomics platform, STARmap, that seamlessly combines in situ hybridization, hydrogel tissue chemistry, and in situ sequencing technologies. Leveraging scalable experimental and computational pipelines, we have constructed a comprehensive spatial cell atlas of the mouse brain, revealing subregion-specific cell types, previously undiscovered tissue architectures, and viral tropisms. The second part of my talk transits to chemical modifications on messenger RNAs (mRNAs) and their far-reaching implications in gene expression regulation and the development of RNA therapeutics. I will discuss the messenger-oligonucleotide conjugate RNAs (mocRNAs) design, showcasing how we can harness chemical modifications for engineering enhanced gene delivery vectors. Looking into the future, I aim to innovate and integrate chemical and spatial profiling approaches to understand tissue health and disease in-depth.
Hailing Shi, Ph.D.
Helen Hay Whitney Foundation Postdoc Fellow, the Broad Institute and MIT Chemistry
Hailing Shi is a Helen Hay Whitney Foundation Postdoc Fellow in Dr. Xiao Wang’s lab at Broad Institute and MIT Chemistry. She received her B.S. in Chemistry from Peking University in 2014 and Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Chicago in 2019. Her research interests are to develop and apply chemical, molecular, and spatial profiling tools to understand the molecular basis of human health and diseases for new therapeutic strategies. Hailing’s work has been recognized by awards including the Trainee Professional Development Award from the Society for Neuroscience (2022) and the Yang Cao-Lan-Xian Best Thesis Award at UChicago (2020).