Photo of Stanford student and Stanford Bio-X Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant Cynthia Hao.
2019 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant and 2020 Cohort Lead

Home Department: Bioengineering
Mentor: Roger Kornberg, Structural Biology

2019 Research Project: Cynthia’s project is to develop a microscopy-based screen that will enable researchers to map complex phenotypes to their corresponding genetic perturbations based on the spatial location of each cell. Her work will expand the capabilities of researchers to characterize the effects of many different genes on mammalian cell phenotypes, such as cell shape and protein interactions, which are observable under a microscope. This could develop into a useful research tool and discovering genes responsible for previously uncharacterized phenotypes.

2020 Research Project: “A High-Throughput Pooled Screen for Cell Shape and Motility in Mammalian Cells”

Cynthia will be analyzing 100 gene knockdowns in a bone cancer cell line for their effects on cell shape and motility phenotypes. Cynthia will employ a high-throughput pooled CRISPR screen that uses the in situ genetic barcode amplification and sequencing methods that she developed in previous Stanford Bio-X summer research and is continuing to optimize. By combining computational imaging analysis and a beta artificial neural network, Cynthia’s research will expand our understanding of the genetic mechanisms of cell shape and motility.