Bio-X SIGF Graduate Student Fellow

Awarded in 2018
Home Department: Biology
Faculty Advisors: Hunter Fraser (Biology) and Michael Bassik (Genetics)

Research Title: Direct measurement of gene-environment interactions by high-throughput precision genome editing

Research Description: Phenotypic  variation among individuals is what makes us unique, and is attributed to genetic variation, environmental effects, or a combination of both. Photo of graduate student Shi-An Chen in the lab, holding up a petri dish with bacterial colonies forming X-shaped arms of the Bio-X logo.Understanding these genotype-by-environment (GxE) interactions can shed light on which causal variants can predict disease prevention and treatment outcomes. However, current methods to genetically map these variants have limited resolution and throughput. By combining population genetics and genome editing techniques, Shi-An will apply a transformative technology for high-throughput precision gene editing that can functionally test tens of thousands of genetic variants in a single experiment between two diverged yeast populations. This will help elucidate the genetic basis of adaptive traits that can lead to natural selection and genetic divergence.


Shi-An is a scientist at Altos Labs, a start-up working on cellular rejuvenation.