The mission of the Trapnell lab is to understand the molecular and genetic basis of cellular phenotypic and functional plasticity. We have three long term goals: first, to identify the genes that drive state transitions in human development; second, to define the complete repertoire of gene regulatory states adopted by human cells; third, to develop a generalized, quantitative model that describes how regulatory DNA controls gene expression during transitions between these states. Our work towards these goals spans three areas illustrated below.
Our research strategy is to develop new algorithms and measurement technologies that will enable the community to quantitatively model how every gene is regulated in every cell type found in an animal. Lab members draw from computer science, statistics, and molecular cell biology to jointly develop both new assays and algorithms that fully exploit their capabilities. We are using our technologies to understand the genetic control of plasticity in key model systems of development and reprogramming.

You can learn more about specific projects below: