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Our lab investigates fundamental questions about the origins and impact of cellular heterogeneity in mechanisms of drug resistance, cancer evolution and the development of new therapeutic strategies. Populations of seemingly identical cells can exhibit a bewildering array of genotypic, phenotypic and pharmacological states. Such cell-to-cell differences present serious challenges to understanding and treating disease.
Our lab is developing a comprehensive program to study cellular heterogeneity at different spatial and temporal scales, in development and homeostasis, and in normal and diseased tissues. Current work is focused on understanding dynamics and molecular mechanisms underlying the evolution of drug resistance and developing new strategies for predicting biological functions of chemical compounds based on pathway-level changes in single cells. Understanding the role of heterogeneity will ultimately have profound implications to all fields of biology, including understanding emergent behaviors of living systems, developing improved approaches for tissue engineering and cancer treatment.