Damon Runyon Researchers

Meet Our Scientists
Jean-BenoƮt Lalanne, PhD

Dr. Lalanne investigates the biophysical determinants of gene expression. Dysregulation of the expression of select oncogenes and tumor suppressors in specific tissues is sufficient to initiate tumorigenesis. Such dysregulation can arise from small-scale genetic changes that alter the binding sites of transcription factors in otherwise inactive enhancers (the short, non-coding regions of DNA to which transcription factors bind, activating gene expression). Despite substantial efforts in functional genomics, the quantitative connection between DNA sequence and expression remains largely elusive. Using a combination of single-cell transcriptomics and reporter assays, Dr. Lalanne plans to decipher the underlying sequence determinants of cell type-specific gene regulation. His goal is to formulate predictive models of which mutations in the non-coding genome can perturb the gene expression program and ultimately lead to cancer development.

Project title: "At-scale dissection of developmental enhancers with single-cell reporters"
Institution: University of Washington
Award Program: Fellow
Sponsor(s) / Mentor(s): Jay A. Shendure, MD, PhD
Cancer Type: All Cancers
Research Area: Genomics