Associate Professor Shalin Naik – Immunology division

09/08/2023 1:00 pm - 09/08/2023 2:00 pm
Davis Auditorium

WEHI Wednesday Seminar hosted by Professors Phil Hodgkin & Daniel Gray

Associate Professor Shalin Naik
Laboratory Head, Immunology division – Infection, Inflammation & Immunity Theme, WEHI

Biology through the lens of clones


Davis Auditorium

Join via SLIDO enter code #WEHIWednesday

Including Q&A session

Any cell that divides to give rise to two or more cells we regard as a clone. Our laboratory investigates the rules governing clonal behaviour, whether it be during haematopoiesis, immunity, embryogenesis, or in cancer. Our philosophy is that studying clonal fate at different functional and molecular levels, and integrating this information, will reveal the mechanisms behind clonal properties in health and disease. We are lab that invests as much in understanding the biological question, as we do in developing new clonal technologies and the computational methods required to rigorously interpret the emerging data.


Over the last 5 years we have co-developed new barcoding tools (SPLINTR, Loxcode, FISH-codes) and computational pipelines to answer several outstanding biological questions. These include establishing the lineage bias and clonal trajectories underlying haematopoiesis; how these pathways change under duress; how stem cells division in their native environment; how cancer clones differ in their growth, ability to metastasise and resist treatment; and the fate patterns of clones during embryogenesis. Importantly, by tracing the fate of daughters from a single cell in separate experiments – so-called clone splitting – we discover that many of these properties are clone-intrinsic and governed by clonal gene programs.


These findings also lead to a new paradigm that we and others are beginning to appreciate: ‘clonal memory’. We propose that many cellular properties (growth, differentiation, function, susceptibility to drugs) are imparted by their founder cells to a far greater extent than previously appreciated. That is, clones inherit properties that inform future behaviour. We believe this provides a new lens through which to appreciate biology in health and disease.

All welcome!

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