Single cell decision-making in development and dedifferentiation

Year of award: 2015


  • Dr Jonathan Chubb

    University College London

Project summary

Jonathan is interested in the regulation of gene transcription. His lab takes a modern approach that allows them to see the dynamics of transcription of single genes in living cells, in real time. This has revealed that transcription occurs as a series of irregular pulses or bursts. They are combining this imaging technology with molecular genetics and computational modelling to understand the mechanistic basis of the pulsing process. The ability to view transcription in living cells also gives a unique window into how cells regulate gene expression during developmental decisions. Unlike more conventional, static approaches, this can allow a cell to be observed before, during and after it makes a gene expression decision, which, combined with image analysis tools to extract the salient features of the cell and its microenvironment, gives unprecedented resolution into the way cells make choices.