I believe biological sciences are experiencing a profound change towards modern biomedicine. Population assays have been essential to draw general pictures on how cells operate mechanistically, however population outcomes are often qualitatively different from singe cell behaviors. In addition, cells are extremely dynamic systems that make decisions based on internal and external parameters and therefore need to be analyzed dynamically. This is particularly relevant for cancer where the high degree of genetic and phenotypic variation across single cells have shown to cause drug resistance and relapse. Therefore, researchers are redefining their toolsets and technologies to interrogate cell biology (See Table). I envision my future research efforts towards building a modern lab environment where live single cells, in their multicellular context, are the main objects of study.
I foresee a fundamental component of my future research involving the implementation of high-resolution microscopy experiments using molecular biosensors to study temporal dynamics of signaling and cell biology in single cells. However, I strongly believe that technological advances precede science breakthroughs. Therefore, by combining synthetic biology, mathematical modeling and live cell imaging I plan to conduct a continued parallel effort for technology development and biological discovery focused on the study of single cell biology in its natural context. In implementing this research, I will draw on expertise learned at each stage of my scientific training. I will take advantage of my synthetic biology background as a tool for biosensor development but also of my experience in signaling dynamics, quantitative imaging, mammalian cell culture, and mathematical modeling.