Dr. Nolan's laboratory areas of expertise include signal transduction, immunology, cancer biology, auto-immunity, retroviral design, bioinformatics and genetics. The laboratory's recent interests include studying signaling alterations at the single cell level in leukemia and lymphomas, cancer stem cells, and determining which of these signaling attributes correlate with patient outcome, drug reactivity and mechanism of disease progressions.
They recently developed for immunology studies CyTOF, an advanced flow cytometric tool that is a hybrid flow cytometer-mass spectrometer instrument. This tool has revolutionized single cell analysis by enabling direct measurement of up to 100 parameters per cell. With novel computational approaches we expect this number to reach 500 or more parameters per cell--- at the rate of thousands of cells per second. This "depp phenotypic profiling" is allowing an entirely new way of looking at the immune system and cancer.
The lab puts substantial effort into bioinformatics approaches to mine the datasets they collect and to automate the production of network models of the signaling pathways affected. For this, they have collaborations with statisticians, engineering departments, and computer design specialists here at Stanford and UC Berkeley to extend their efforts to make the program in the laboratory extremely cross-disciplinary.