Taking a single cell focus with the DROP-seq

Support from the Harold and Cora Brennen Benevolent Trust has allowed the Institute to purchase a DROP-seq machine, which is now being used by researchers for more than a dozen projects.

The DROP-seq will support genomic research into a range of diseases including malaria and leukaemia.

A machine to transform genomics research

Genomics research is the key to personalised medicine. In genomics, researchers study what it is about an individual’s genetic interactions and environment that can change the way their unique combination of genes influences a particular disease, and their response to a type and dose of medicine or other therapy.

Dr Shalin Naik is one of the researchers who works with the DROP-seq.

“Traditionally, researchers have been restricted to studying biological systems by looking at aggregated samples of cells,” he said. The DROP-seq will change that by allowing researchers to look at single cells to learn how they influence the way we respond to therapies.

“Traditionally, researchers have been restricted to studying biological systems by looking at aggregated samples of cells.”
– Dr Shalin Naik

A boost to research

Institute director Professor Doug Hilton welcomed the arrival of DROP-seq and its potential applications in a broad range of disease and research fields. “Implementation of this technology will be a major boost to single cell genomics research in Australia,” he said.

With the advent of personalised medicine, this research presents important opportunities for all Australians to get the sorts of therapies that are best suited to them and their illness.

Three scientists smiling in a laboratory
Above: Dr Shalin Naik, Dr Daniela Zalcenstein and Dr Tom Weber pictured with the DROP-Seq in the Naik laboratory
To find out how you can support genomics research and contribute to the development of personalised medicine, contact Sally Elford on (03) 9345 2345 or elford.s@wehi.edu.au.

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