HSCRB faculty member Jason Buenrostro, Ph.D. has been named to the 2019 MIT Technology Review’s “Innovators under 35” list, in recognition of his work that has great potential to transform the world.
In 2013, Buenrostro developed the genomics technology ATAC-Seq (Assay for Transposase-Accessible Chromatin using sequencing). Each human cell contains two meters of DNA, tightly packed into the microscopic nucleus; ATAC-seq identifies which parts of the DNA are unwound and accessible to proteins, and thus play a role in gene regulation. The technology is used ubiquitously in the genomics community to understand and map genome function.
In a study published this week, Buenrostro and collaborators at Bio-Rad Laboratories used microfluidics and novel software approaches to scale up single-cell ATAC-seq, making the technology accessible to researchers across biomedical fields.
“Now that we have this tool to measure which parts of the genome are active or inactive, we can understand how the genome has evolved to create functional cell types in different tissues,” said Buenrostro, who is an assistant professor of stem cell and regenerative biology. “We can also look at mutations across genomes to understand how they’re functioning mechanistically in which cell types and at which time, and whether those cell types are important for disease.”
Gideon Lichfield, editor-in-chief of MIT Technology Review, said: “MIT Technology Review’s annual Innovators Under 35 list is a chance for us to honor the outstanding people behind the breakthrough technologies of the year that have the potential to disrupt our lives. These profiles offer a glimpse into what the face of technology looks like today as well as in the future.”