Applications of single-cell multi-omics techniques in molecular biology, genetics and cancer research

Date: This event took place on September 22, 2021

Emerging single-cell multi-omics sequencing technologies allow the capture of multiple modalities from a cell, including its epigenome, transcriptome, epitranscriptome and proteome. This integration combination of multiple layers of information also requires tailor-made computational tools for integrative analyses. Multi-omics sequencing methods are ideally placed for molecular biology research (including tracing cell lineages, producing cell type atlases of various organs, and mapping cellular spatial information), and its disease relevance, specifically in cancer research (tumour heterogeneity, cancer progression and its interactions with the microenvironment, mechanisms of response or resistance to therapy) and complex disease genetics (causal genetic variants, genes, mechanisms, relevant cell types, and the discovery of drug targets).

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  • Kun Zhang, University of California, San Diego

    Kun Zhang, University of California, San Diego

    Kun Zhang is the Leo and Trude Szilard Chancellor’s Endowed Chair Professor, and Chairman of the Bioengineering Department at University of California, San Diego. His area of expertise is molecular engineering and biotechnology, with a specialization on genomics, epigenomics and single-cell sequencing. He pioneered the development of methods on target genome and epigenome sequencing, single-cell genome sequencing, single-nucleus RNA sequencing, and single-cell multi-omics sequencing. He is applying these technologies to constructing single-cell atlases for major human organs. He is an elected Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and a fellow of the International Academy of Medical and Biological Engineering.

  • Qin Ma, Ohio State University

    Qin Ma, Ohio State University

    Qin Ma is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biomedical Informatics and the Pelotonia Institute for Immuno-Oncology at the Ohio State University. He received his Ph.D. in Operational Research from Shandong University and then did his postdoc at the University of Georgia, specializing in high-throughput sequencing data mining and modeling. He established his bioinformatics research lab and moved onto the field of single-cell sequencing data analyses at South Dakota State University. Currently, his lab focuses on developing computational methods to discover heterogeneous transcriptional regulatory mechanisms from single-cell multi-omics data, with a particular interest in deploying deep learning methods in cancer research. One long-term goal is to create an online code-free eco-community for analyzing single-cell multi-omics data for immuno-oncology and immunotherapy.

  • Katalin Susztak, University of Pennsylvania

    Katalin Susztak, University of Pennsylvania

    Katalin Susztak, MD, PhD is a Professor of Medicine and Genetics at the University of Pennsylvania who aims to understand the genetics and molecular mechanisms of kidney disease development, with the ultimate goal of finding new, more effective therapies. Her lab mapped the kidney epigenome and genotype-driven gene-expression variation in human kidneys. Integration of this data with genome-wide association studies (GWAS) has been essential to prioritizing disease-causing genes and variants. Dr. Susztak’s discoveries have enormous translational relevance and considerable therapeutic potential.

  • Eytan Zlotorynski, Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology

    Moderator: Eytan Zlotorynski, Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology

    Eytan obtained a Ph.D. from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, studying the molecular basis of common fragile sites in the human genome. He then worked as a post-doctoral fellow with professor Reuven Agami at the Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, studying microRNAs with novel tumourigenic and tumour-suppressive functions. Eytan moved into science publishing and joined Nature Protocols in January 2013. He has been part of the Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology team since 2014. Eytan is primarily responsible for the areas of gene regulation, DNA and RNA metabolism, chromatin and chromosome biology, and nuclear organization, as well as for technologies and techniques.

  • Margot Brandt, Nature Communications

    Moderator: Margot Brandt, Nature Communications

    Margot joined Nature Communications in May 2020, where she handles manuscripts on genetics and genomics. She completed her PhD at Columbia University and the New York Genome Center, where she conducted research in functional genomics. Margot is based in the New York office.

  • Paraskevi Mallini, Nature Communications

    Moderator: Paraskevi Mallini, Nature Communications

    Paraskevi joined the Nature Communications Cancer Team in July 2020. Paraskevi completed her PhD at Newcastle University where she explored the impact of Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition on breast cancer stem cells and drug resistance and continued with post-doctoral studies focusing on the role of hypoxia in these biological processes. She then worked on single cell technologies for identifying T cell receptor repertoires that are specific for cancer, infectious and autoimmune disease targets at the biotechnology industry for four years. Paraskevi handles cancer epigenomics and genomics manuscripts.