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Klughammer Lab - Research

Maira Torres: The single-cell expression landscape of microglia and their surrounding tissues in health and disease

Microglial cells are considered the resident macrophages of the brain and it is well established that there are various microglial populations across different brain regions. Until recently, this heterogeneity has not been comprehensively documented on a single-cell level.
This project strives to develop a computational framework for the efficient integration and analysis of published scRNA-seq data with the specific aim of elucidating the molecular diversity of microglia across various physiologic and pathologic conditions, generating translational insights and creating a widely applicable methodology.

Robert Strasser: Chemotherapeutic impact on the immune microenvironment in metastatic breast cancer

In women, breast cancer is the most common type of cancer, having a global incidence of over two million in 2020. In a fifth of all breast cancer diagnoses, liver metastases occur, which, despite treatment with hormone- and/or chemotherapy, lead to a 5-year survival rate of only 27%. In collaboration with researcher at the Broad Institute we investigate the heterogenous cellular ecosystem of liver metastasis at the level of individual cells, using single-nucleus RNA sequencing (snRNA-seq), and additionally on a spatial level, using Multiplexed error-robust fluorescence in situ hybridization (MERFISH). We assess and compare molecular and compositional differences between metastasis of patients that have or have not been treated with chemotherapy to better understand how chemotherapy might impact the effectiveness of immunotherapy as a complementary line of therapy.