Howard Hughes Investigator and Professor of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Structural Biology Christopher Chang and Howard Hughes Investigator and Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology Michael Rape are both among 30 national finalists for the 2014 Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists.
A major limiting factor in biological research is the challenge of quickly and accurately identifying specific proteins in a single cell. The workhorse single-cell tool, flow cytometry, suffers from limited performance, while the highly-specific Western blot has not been able to measure proteins in a single cell.
Using microfluidic design and commonly-available materials, members of bioengineering professors Dave Schaffer and Amy Herr’s labs have introduced a new tool that allows the highly specific measurements made with Western blots to be applied to single cells. Their approach advances microarray-like formats to include tiny electrophoretic separations to sort proteins by size, followed by the standard antibody-based detection. The single-cell Western (scWestern) detects as many as eleven protein targets in one cell. The tool can assay about 2,000 individual cell in under four hours.
Having the capability to measure single-cell protein levels with high specificity could change the way we probe protein-mediated signaling within the cell. Identification of fleeting interactions and similar but unique proteins are two major areas where the new measurements could assist. This could be especially useful in understanding stem cell differentiation and differences among rare cell types, like circulating tumor cells.
This research was published online in Nature Methods June 2014, with lead authors Alex Hughes (BioE Phd 2013) and Dawn Spelke (BioE graduate student). In the first week of publication the article was ranked the #1 most emailed and #4 most read.
How much do BioE students love Berkeley? SO much that they put their money where their hearts are. Congratulations 2014 BioE Bears – top fundraisers for the senior class gift!
Bioengineering Assistant Professor John Dueber has been named a Bakar Fellow at UC Berkeley.
The Bakar Fellows Program supports innovative research by early career faculty at UC Berkeley with a special focus on projects that hold commercial promise in the fields of Engineering, Computer Science, Chemistry, Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences or multidisciplinary work in these disciplines. Faculty members selected as Bakar Fellows each receive discretionary research support for a maximum of five years. In addition, the Fellows become part of and contribute to an ecosystem that brings together faculty, post-docs, students, staff and alumni to form a strong network that assists researchers in introducing their discoveries to the market.
Read more at the UC Berkeley Vice Chancellor for Research.
Four Berkeley professors launch new nonprofit to advance the publishing rights of authors in the digital age
With the advent of global digital networks has come unprecedented potential for authors to reach new readers. The Authors Alliance, a new nonprofit launched Wednesday (5/21) by four Berkeley professors -- including Dean Carla Hesse -- empowers authors to harness that potential.
Emmanuel Saez was one of a pair of economists who created a big media splash with a 2013 study showing that social mobility correlates with where the children grew up. A new report in Science magazine reveals how they got a hold of IRS data.