Staff Profiles

Lucas T. Graybuck, Ph.D.

Scientist II

Lucas T. Graybuck (also published as Lucas T. Gray) joined the Allen Institute in 2014 to work in the Mouse Cell Types program under the direction of Bosiljka Tasic. He contributes to projects related to cell type identification, labeling, and epigenetic perturbation for the Mouse Cell Types, Human Genetic Tools, and Epigenetic Control in Transgenic Mice projects.

Before joining the Allen Institute, he worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the lab of Dr. Nancy Maizels at the University of Washington. In this position, he studied the roles of G-quadruplex (G4) DNA structures in human gene transcription, and the consequences of disordered expression of G4-unwinding DNA helicases BLM and WRN. His work also explored the genomic binding patterns of general transcription factor TFIIH helicases XPB and XPD, which also interact with G4 DNA.

He earned his Ph.D. in Biochemistry in the lab of Dr. Alan Weiner at the University of Washington where he studied the domesticated piggyBac transposase fusion protein CSB-PGBD3. CSB-PGBD3 is found only in the genomes of simian primates, and appears to be conserved as a transcription factor. His work in the Weiner lab also included transcriptomic analysis of gene expression in cell lines from patients with Cockayne Syndrome, a genetic disorder with both neurodevelopmental and progeria-like symptoms, and conservation analysis of the neural-specific domesticated transposase PGBD5.


Research Interests

Mammalian brain functions are performed by an orchestra of diverse, interconnected cell types, each performing their own role in response to a variety of inputs from other cells. Gene expression determines the functional repertoire of each cell type, and is regulated by transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms. I am interested in identifying the transcriptional hallmarks of adult neural cell types, in making new genetic tools to label specific cell types, and in perturbing the epigenetic state of specific types of neurons to expand our understanding of the interplay between epigenetic state and neural gene expression.


  • Transcriptomics
  • Chromatin accessibility
  • Genomics
  • Data visualization

Research Programs

  • Cell Types

Selected Publications View on PUBMED

Epigenetic landscape and AAV targeting of human neocortical cell classes

February 19, 2019

Mich JK, Hess EE, Graybuck LT, Somasundaram S, Miller JA, Ding Y, Shapovalova NV, Fong O, Yao S, Mortrud M, Chong P, Bertagnolli D, Goldy J, Casper T, Kroll M, Hodge RD, Bakken TE, Yao Z, Dee N, Cetin A, Smith KA, Gwinn RP, Cobbs C, Ko AL, Ojemann JG, Keene CD, Silbergeld DL, Gradinaru V, Sunkin SM, Zeng H, Lein ES, Tasic B, Ting JT, Levi BP

Transcriptomic evidence for dense peptidergic neuromodulation networks in mouse cortex

January 13, 2019

Smith SJ, Sumbul U, Graybuck LT, Collman F, Sharmishtaa S, Gala R, Gliko O, Elabbady L, Miller J, Bakken T, Yao Z, Lein ES, Zeng H, Tasic B, Hawrylycz M

A Suite of Transgenic Driver and Reporter Mouse Lines with Enhanced Brain-Cell-Type Targeting and Functionality

July 12, 2018

Daigle TL, Madisen L, Hage TA, Valley MT, Knoblich U, Larsen RS, Takeno MM, Huang L, Gu H, Larsen R, Mills M, Bosma-Moody A, Siverts LA, Walker M, Graybuck LT, Yao Z, Fong O, Nguyen TN, Garren E, Lenz GH, Chavarha M, Pendergraft J, Harrington J, Hirokawa KE, Harris JA, Nicovich PR, McGraw MJ, Ollerenshaw DR, Smith KA, Baker CA, Ting JT, Sunkin SM, Lecoq J, Lin MZ2, Boyden ES, Murphy GJ, da Costa NM, Waters J, Li L, Tasic B, Zeng H

Single-cell profiling of the developing mouse brain and spinal cord with split-pool barcoding

March 15, 2018

Rosenberg AB, Roco CM, Muscat RA, Kuchina A, Sample P, Yao Z, Gray L, Peeler DJ, Mukherjee S, Chen W, Pun SH, Sellers DL, Tasic B, Seelig G

Single-nucleus and single-cell transcriptomes compared in matched cortical cell types

PLoS One
December 26, 2018

Bakken TE, Hodge RD, Miller JA, Yao Z, Nguyen TN, Aevermann B, Barkan E, Bertagnolli D, Casper T, Dee N, Garren E, Goldy J, Graybuck LT, Kroll M, Lasken RS, Lathia K, Parry S, Rimorin C, Scheuermann RH, Schork NJ, Shehata SI, Tieu M, Phillips JW, Bernard A, Smith KA, Zeng H, Lein ES, Tasic B

Distinct descending motor cortex pathways and their roles in movement

October 31, 2018

Economo MN, Viswanathan S, Tasic B, Bas E, Winnubst J, Menon V, Graybuck LT, Nguyen TN, Smith KA, Yao Z, Wang L, Gerfen CR, Chandrashekar J, Zeng H, Looger LL, Svoboda K

Shared and distinct transcriptomic cell types across neocortical areas

October 31, 2018

Tasic B, Yao Z, Graybuck LT, Smith KA, Nguyen TN, Bertagnolli D, Goldy J, Garren E, Economo MN, Viswanathan S, Penn O, Bakken T, Menon V, Miller J, Fong O, Hirokawa KE, Lathia K, Rimorin C, Tieu M, Larsen R, Casper T, Barkan E, Kroll M, Parry S, Shapovalova NV, Hirschstein D, Pendergraft J, Sullivan HA, Kim TK, Szafer A, Dee N, Groblewski P, Wickersham I, Cetin A, Harris JA, Levi BP, Sunkin SM, Madisen L, Daigle TL, Looger L, Bernard A, Phillips J, Lein E, Hawrylycz M, Svoboda K, Jones AR, Koch C, Zeng H

Layer-specific chromatin accessibility landscapes reveal regulatory networks in adult mouse visual cortex

January 23, 2017

Gray LT, Yao Z, Nguyen TN, Kim TK, Zeng H, Tasic B

The Werner syndrome RECQ helicase targets G4 DNA in human cells to modulate transcription

Human Molecular Genetics
May 15, 2016

Tang W, Robles AI, Beyer RP, Gray LT, Nguyen GH, Oshima J, Maizels N, Harris CC, Monnat RJ Jr

Adult mouse cortical cell taxonomy revealed by single cell transcriptomics

Nature Neuroscience
January 4, 2016

Tasic B, Menon V, Nguyen TN, Kim TK, Jarsky T, Yao Z, Levi B1, Gray LT, Sorensen SA, Dolbeare T, Bertagnolli D, Goldy J, Shapovalova N, Parry S, Lee C, Smith K, Bernard A, Madisen L, Sunkin SM, Hawrylycz M, Koch C, Zeng H

G quadruplexes are genomewide targets of transcriptional helicases XPB and XPD

Nature Chemical Biology
April 2014

Gray LT, Vallur AC, Eddy J, Maizels N