Department of Physiology Anatomy and Genetics - Shankar Srinivas

Our group works on early mouse embryogenesis, investigating patterning and morphogenesis. We have very recently initiated several single cell sequencing projects.

  1. As part of a Wellcome Trust Strategic Award (PI: Wolf Reik, Babraham) we are investigating the generations of diverse cell types from the the pluripotent epiblast during gastrulation. We are performing transcriptional and epigenetic profiling at the single cell level of embryos at several stages between embryonic day (E) 4.5 and E8.25. Our involvement in this effort is focused primarily on the E5.5 to E6.5 stage, particularly in the patterning of an extra-embryonic tissue called the visceral endoderm. Related to this, we will also be sequencing cells from mutants with defects in visceral endoderm patterning.
  2. We are investigating the origin of contractile activity in the embryonic heart at approximately E7.5. We will address questions relating to how calcium handling capability matures over time, to understand how calcium activity in independent cells scattered across the early heart comes to be coordinated. We will also investigate the patterning of the embryonic heart, with respect to the differentiation of the endocardium and myocardium, and left-right differences in this process.
  3. As part of a very recently awarded Technology Development Award from the Wellcome Trust, we are developing:
a.  a genetic technology that will allow one to re-construct the lineage relationship of
sequenced cells from the sequence of a specifically engineered ‘lineage recorder’ locus with each cell.
b.  a fluorescent cellular signature based approach to retrospectively locate a sequenced cell within the sample.