Researchers Awarded Grant to Develop New RNA Fluorescence Imaging System

An interdisciplinary team at UMass Amherst, led by Mingxu You, associate professor of chemistry, and including co-PI Tingyi (Leo) Liu, assistant professor of mechanical and industrial engineering, and Sallie Schneider, adjunct assistant professor of veterinary and animal sciences, has been awarded a $606,774 grant by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to develop a novel multiplexed fluorescence imaging system for living cells. 

NEWS Mingxu You
Mingxu You

The new imaging system will be used to study dynamic gene expression profiles and cellular heterogeneity, which will help researchers understand how diseased cells are different from healthy ones and how diseases emerge. 

To advance general understanding of cells, the team will measure as many RNA signatures as possible in each individual cell and track how these different signatures can change over time and space.  

Ultimately, researchers hope the project will result in an easily applicable, multiplexed, quantitative, and automated system that can be widely used in typical life science laboratories.  

It may also open the door for new applications in single-cell profiling for studying developmental biology, neuroscience, immunology and oncology.