Research Assistant Professor/Head of Genomics Technology Development
Ph.D., Northwestern University, 2009
Developing single-cell genomics technologies for applications related to cancer progression, immune surveillance, and discovery of rare novel cell types and transcriptional programs.
Biology is inescapably a study of diversity. Understanding complex biological systems, both in health and in disease, requires the deconvolution of a heterogeneous milieu into its constituent parts. New experimental tools have made it possible to investigate gene expression, chromatin architecture, and genetic alterations in thousands of single cells simultaneously. These technologies have revolutionized how we approach biological problems by granting the ability to measure interactions within the diverse cellular mixture comprising a tumor microenvironment, a developing stem cell niche, a complex organ such as the brain, or an immune response. The Preall Lab deploys and develops single-cell technologies and other high-throughput genomics workflows to explore biological diversity at high resolution. Using single-cell transcriptome profiling, the lab has characterized fibroblast populations that coordinate tissue remodeling within pancreatic tumors and govern interactions between cancerous cells, signals driving their growth, and surveillance by the immune system. The Preall lab is also developing technology to push single cell capabilities towards larger and larger cell numbers to enable massive scale studies of the immune repertoire across patient cohorts and over time.