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Allen Discovery Center

The Allen Discovery Center for Cell Lineage Tracing at UW Medicine, Caltech and University of Basel

Cell Lineage Tracing

Scientists have been asking questions about the ancestry and lineage of cells for over a century, but tracing the relationships between generations of cells has faced significant technical challenges. In the past several years, teams led by Jay Shendure, M.D., Ph.D., at the University of Washington, Michael Elowitz, Ph.D., and Long Cai, Ph.D., at Caltech and Alex Schier, Ph.D., at Harvard have created new technologies that take advantage of modern gene editing methods to effectively trace cells as they divide, move and differentiate throughout an organism’s development.

The Allen Discovery Center for Cell Lineage Tracing will use these new technologies and paradigms to develop lineage maps for the zebrafish and mouse – the first global maps of development in any vertebrate. They will also develop genomic systems to record the molecular events that regulate development. The Center’s other investigators are Carlos Lois, Ph.D., research professor of Biology at Caltech, Marshall Horwitz, M.D., Ph.D., UW professor of Pathology, and Cole Trapnell, Ph.D., UW assistant professor of Genome Sciences, Magda Zernicka-Goetz, Ph.D., professor of Biology and Biological Engineering at Caltech, and Kelley Harris, Ph.D., assistant professor of Genome Sciences at UW.

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