Cain Department of Chemical Engineering SEMINAR


“Microfluidics for Epigenome Mapping in the World of Precision Medicine”

Chang Lu

Fred W. Bull Professor of Chemical Engineering

Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA


Precision medicine requires comprehensive analysis of the molecular drivers of a disease for individual patients and use of the information to devise therapeutic procedures. In the post-genome era, such analysis benefits tremendously from decreasing cost of next-generation sequencing and improvement in big data processing. However, critical technical barrier still exists for establishing genome-wide profiles using tiny amounts of samples extracted from patients and lab animals. In this seminar, I will discuss our efforts on using microfluidics as a versatile platform for profiling epigenomes based on a low number of cells in the context of precision medicine. The epigenome turns on and off genes in a highly dynamic fashion during normal development and diseases, forming another layer of regulation on top of gene sequence. We developed MOWChIP-seq to profile histone modifications using as few as 100 cells. More recently, we developed microfluidic assays to probe genome-wide DNA methylation. I will discuss our studies of cell-type specific epigenomic landscapes in the context of stem cell differentiation and brain functions using these tools. These new technologies will generate insights into disease processes and help create personalized treatment strategy.


Friday September 22, 2017

2:00 p.m.

1221 Patrick Taylor Hall

Coffee will be served at 1:30 p.m.