Prof Roger Lasken, PhD
Professor, Director of Single Cell Genomics, J. Craig Venter Institute
Adjunct Professor,S chool of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences,
University of California, San Diego
Prof Lasken completed a PhD in Myron Goodman’s laboratory at the University of Southern California, Department of Molecular Biology, in 1985. Prof Lasken’s postdoctoral training was at the Stanford University School of Medicine, Biochemistry Department, in the laboratory of Arthur Kornberg. In 1988, Prof Lasken joined the Cornell University Medical College, New York, as an assistant Professor. In 1990 he joined Life Technologies as a Principle Investigator developing DNA amplification and DNA sequencing technologies. He was Director of Genomics at Molecular Staging Inc from 1988-2004 where his group developed the MDA method. He joined JCVI in 2006.
The laboratory is focused on developing methods for single cell sequencing and transcriptomics. Prof Lasken has a unique track record in method development for genomic DNA sequencing and genotyping from limiting cells. The group was the first to sequence DNA from a single cell and is recognised for pioneering methods in single cell genomics (reviewed in Lasken, R.S., Genomic sequencing of uncultured microorganisms from single cells, Nature Reviews Microbiology, 2012, vol 10, 631-640). The MDA method of whole genome amplification was developed in the laboratory 11 years ago and is now the industry standard for sequencing from limiting specimens. MDA is distributed as GenomiPhi and TempliPhi (GE Healthcare) and Repli-g (Qiagen Inc). Prof Lasken has published more than 20 research articles, reviews and book chapters on MDA. The group is also one of the first to conduct single cell gene expression studies with next generation sequencing technology. A publication currently in press at PNAS is the first to demonstrate whole transcriptome analysis by RNA-seq from single nuclei. An additional goal of the group has been to disseminate single cell methodology to the scientific community through seminars and invited conference talks and training of guest scientists at JCVI.