AN EXPLORATION ON HOW SEQUENCING OF SINGLE CELLS AND CIRCULATING CELL-FREE RNA IN PLASMA ARE ENABLING RNA-BASED MOLECULES AS CLINICAL BIOMARKERS
Lian Chye Winston Koh
Stanford University, Singapore
Clinical research of human diseases is challenged by the high cost of testing experimental therapeutics in human subjects. There is a need for biomarkers capable of identifying at risk subjects and accurate means of measuring treatment outcomes that will enable cost efficient “proof of concept” trials. Discovery of circulating RNA in plasma has sparked interest in their use as this form of quantifiable diagnostics across human diseases. In this talk, we will explore using sequencing to profile circulating RNA in maternal blood and its potential as a tool for monitoring pregnancy and fetal development. Using sequenced cell-free RNA transcriptome, we will delve into the development of multiplex qPCR assays focusing on brain tissue specific circulating RNA expression profiles as diagnostics for neurologic diseases especially Alzheimer’s disease. Heterogeneity in terms of composition and genetics of diseased tissues can confound the interpretation of biomarker levels and patient responses to therapies. Here, we will explore single cell resolution sequencing methods in uterine tissue during pregnancy (RNA-seq) and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (DNA-seq), with the possibility of using these data for development of targeted diagnostic approaches using circulating nucleic acids.