SMS scnews item created by Miranda Luo at Thu 7 Mar 2024 1406
Type: Seminar
Distribution: World
Expiry: 12 Mar 2024
Calendar1: 11 Mar 2024 1300-1400
Auth: (jluo0722) in SMS-SAML

Statistical Bioinformatics Seminar: Dr Ling Xiao

Speaker: Dr Ling Xiao (Harvard Medical School) 

Abstract: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a complex disease and the molecular mechanisms
leading to AF in the general population remain unknown.  Genome-wide association studies
(GWAS) identified over 100 genetic loci associated with AF.  However, it is still a big
challenge to identify cellular programs through which genes from AF-associated variants
and genetic loci modulate the risk for AF.  To address this challenge, we systematically
applied high-content imaging assay to analyze AF genes in a human pluripotent stem cell
(hPSC) derived atrial cardiomyocyte (aCMs) cell model.  We performed CRISPR based
perturbations to delete AF candidate genes in Cas9 expressing hPSC derived aCMs and used
Cell Painting pipeline to analyze atrial cell structures obtained with high-content
imaging.  Our results indicate cardiomyocyte structural abnormalities contribute to AF
pathogenesis.  Understanding the functions of candidate AF genes at the GWAS loci have
the potential to uncover novel biological mechanisms and potential drug targets for
novel therapeutics.  

About the speaker: Dr Ling Xiao is an Instructor in investigation at Cardiovascular
Research Center of Massachusetts General Hospital and an Instructor in Medicine at
Harvard Medical School.  Her research focuses on leveraging large human genetic dataset
and state-of-the-art functional genomic approaches to study cardiovascular diseases.

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