1. Precision Single Cell Genomics
ICG specializes on high precision single cell DNA sequencing and diagnosis technologies of trace amounts of samples. The ultimate technological objective is to provide the most accurate genomic diagnosis at the single-cell level, which are important to fundamental science and medical applications. ICG will capitalize on its achievements in this fast evolving area, and further establish leadership on single cell genomics, including:
1) Single cell genome
2) Single cell transcriptome
3) Single cell 3D genomic structure
4) Single cell epigenome, in particular single cell methylome
These advance sampling methods will be coupled with the high throughput next generation sequencing technologies, which are continuing to evolve for high precision as well as greater accessibility. We aim to improve the sensitivity, specificity, contamination-control, the degree of automation, as well as the reduction of the difficulties of the single cell genomics. We will also seek to understand the theoretical and statistical aspects of single-cell genomics.
For many future applications, genomics will be better carried out by single cell genomics, not only because of the trace sample amount required and the need for the characterization of heterogeneity but also the much richer information contents provided by the latter.
2. Precision Genome Editing
In the past a few years, rapid developments have allowed wide applications of genome editing technologies, which can locate and modify genomes, offering great prospect to the treatment of serious diseases and hence bring fundamental changes to medicine. ICG will take advantages of our expertise on single cell high precision genomics and high-throughput functional genomics to facilitate innovations in genome editing technology development and its ultimate medical use. Precise genome characterization before and after the editing is crucial to the improvement of precision and efficiency of gene targeting, reducing the off-target effect such that the technologies could be safely applied to clinical practices.
3. Function Analysis of Genome
The physical and chemical tools developed at ICG will lead to new discoveries in biochemistry and molecular biology, especially in the areas of gene expression and regulation, DNA and RNA modification, chromosome structure and dynamics, reprograming and cell differentiation, etc., yielding new understanding of the genome functions. Such detailed functional interpretations of the genome will explain mechanisms related to human reproduction, development and diseases such as cancer，and help to design therapeutic or diagnostic strategies, and ultimately lead to the betterment of human health.
In particular, the single cell genomics technologies that we have developed have implications on how the Human Cell Atlas should be collected.