Biological resolution at the level of individual cells is the only route to understanding biological organisms that are a heterogenous composite of different cell types. Single-cell technology is powering the next phase of basic research in biology, translational enquiries, and strategies for personalized treatments. Capturing, preserving, and processing single cell samples for experiments, specifically RNA sequencing, pose challenges in the workflow of all single cell studies.
In this GEN Protocols’ Expert Exchange, Irene Whitney, PhD, director of applications & collaborations at Honeycomb Biotechnologies, discusses these common challenges in single-cell studies, and existing and emerging solutions. Prior to joining Honeycomb, Irene was a postdoctoral scholar at Harvard University’s Center for Brain Science where her research focused on the diversification of cell types in neural development and heterogeneity of transcriptional responses to injury, using primarily high-throughput single-cell sequencing methods. She completed her doctoral work at the University of California, Santa Barbara in the Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, where she identified genetic determinants of distinct cell types in the nervous system using recombinant inbred strains and quantitative trait locus mapping.