Visiting Speaker
Jay Yu
MIT
Whole-organism RNA expression analyses based on expansion microscopy of C. elegans
Wednesday
Apr 24, 2019
Watch video
3:00 pm
177 Huntington Ave
11th floor

In order to reveal principles of neural circuit operation, it would be useful to simultaneously examine molecular profiles of neurons and structural connectivity between neurons, ideally through an animal’s entire nervous system.  C. elegans is a suitable model for such analysis, due to its small nervous system with known stereotypical connectivity.  However, a method for profiling transcriptomic expression at single-neuron resolution over the entire animal is currently lacking.  We recently developed Expansion of C. elegans (ExCel), a method to physically expand fixed entire animals of C. elegans by ~3.3-3.8x in each dimension with high isotropy.  ExCel enables simultaneous readout of fluorescent proteins, RNAs, DNA and morphological features at a resolution of ~70 nm.  We showed that ExCel can be used to perform gene expression analyses of multiple neurons inside the same animal.  While its current form can only image up to 3-5 mRNA targets, combination with other tools developed by the group, such as in situ nucleotide sequencing of expanded tissues, could potentially enable multiplexed readout of more than hundreds or thousands of targets.  In this talk, I will discuss several expansion-mediated RNA imaging methods, their tradeoffs, and progresses on adopting them on C. elegans.

About the speaker
Jay Yu is a 5th year PhD student in Biological Engineering at MIT. He works in the Synthetic Neurobiology Group led by Professor Edward Boyden. Jay started working with C. elegans since college. His current research focuses on developing tools for mapping molecules and connectivity of the C. elegans nervous system.
Visiting Speaker
Jay Yu
MIT
Whole-organism RNA expression analyses based on expansion microscopy of C. elegans
Wed
Apr 24, 2019
3:00 pm
177 Huntington Ave
11th floor
ADD to calendar

In order to reveal principles of neural circuit operation, it would be useful to simultaneously examine molecular profiles of neurons and structural connectivity between neurons, ideally through an animal’s entire nervous system.  C. elegans is a suitable model for such analysis, due to its small nervous system with known stereotypical connectivity.  However, a method for profiling transcriptomic expression at single-neuron resolution over the entire animal is currently lacking.  We recently developed Expansion of C. elegans (ExCel), a method to physically expand fixed entire animals of C. elegans by ~3.3-3.8x in each dimension with high isotropy.  ExCel enables simultaneous readout of fluorescent proteins, RNAs, DNA and morphological features at a resolution of ~70 nm.  We showed that ExCel can be used to perform gene expression analyses of multiple neurons inside the same animal.  While its current form can only image up to 3-5 mRNA targets, combination with other tools developed by the group, such as in situ nucleotide sequencing of expanded tissues, could potentially enable multiplexed readout of more than hundreds or thousands of targets.  In this talk, I will discuss several expansion-mediated RNA imaging methods, their tradeoffs, and progresses on adopting them on C. elegans.

about the speaker
Jay Yu is a 5th year PhD student in Biological Engineering at MIT. He works in the Synthetic Neurobiology Group led by Professor Edward Boyden. Jay started working with C. elegans since college. His current research focuses on developing tools for mapping molecules and connectivity of the C. elegans nervous system.