Based on transcriptional profiles of over a hundred different human (fetal) organs, including the gonads, we developed the mathematical algorithm Keygenes to compare transcriptional data from differentiated human pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) with their in vivo counterparts. Our datasets and code are freely available on an open-access website (www.keygenes.nl). Keygenes proved of value to demonstrate the fidelity of kidney organoids derived from induced PSCs (iPSCs).
We are interested in studying isogenic iPSCs (different organs from the same individual) and have shown that those retain different DNA methylation patterns and have different tendencies to differentiate to specific cell-types, suggesting some degree of epigenetic memory.
We are among the first to combine single-cell transcriptomics with exome sequencing allowing reconstruction of parental haplotypes and subsequently quantification of allele specific expression in human germ cells. This will contribute to uncover the dynamics of X chromosome reactivation and genome imprinting erasure.
We are now studying the cellular networks and molecular pathways that control development and maturation of the oocyte within the human adult ovary and investing in technology to promote in vitro activation and maturation.
We are hiring 2 postdocs on this project!