The genome stores, propagates and expresses genetic information. One big challenge in modern biology is to understand the genome spatial organization and temporal dynamics that instruct fundamental DNA-templated processes including the precise transcriptional regulation in development. As a postdoc in the Tjian lab and a visiting scholar at the Janelia research campus (hosted by James Liu’s group), I develop new molecular imaging tools and integrate multidisciplinary approaches (imaging, genomics, biochemistry and computation et al.) to address these challenges.
To globally visualize the 3D organization of cis-regulatory DNA elements at nanometer scale, I developed a super-resolution imaging method–3D ATAC-PALM in collaboration with James Liu’s group at Janelia Research Campus and Howard Chang’s group at Stanford (Xie et al. Nature Method, 2020, https://www.nature.com/
To ‘zoom in’ the spatiotemporal regulation of transcription by cis-DNA elements, I characterized a long-range enhancer cluster (~50-70kb) regulating the naïve pluripotency gene Klf4 in mouse embryonic stem cells and identified the highly dynamic yet intrinsically ordered nature of key pluripotency transcription factors (ESRRB, STAT3, SOX2, OCT4) engaging pluripotency enhancers by live-cell single-molecule imaging, genomics and in vitro biochemistry (Xie et al. Genes and Development, 2017, http://genesdev.cshlp.org/