In this episode of the Epigenetics Podcast, we caught up with Céline Vallot from L'Institut Curie in Paris to discuss her work on investigating the dynamics of epigenetic plasticity in cancer with single cell technologies.

During her Post-Doc years Céline Vallot worked on the inactive X chromosome. Using RNA-Seq she discovered a novel long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) called XACT. This lncRNA is expressed from and coats the active X chromosome in human pluripotent cells. Céline Vallot also showed that XACT is specific to humans and cannot be found in mice.

After starting her own lab, Céline Vallot began to focus on Single Cell Epigenomics in Cancer. She and her team developed a high-throughput single-cell ChIP-seq approach which relies on a droplet microfluidics platform to profile the chromatin landscape of thousands of cells. By doing so they could show that a subset of cells within untreated drug-sensitive tumors share a common chromatin signature. This would have been impossible with common bulk approaches. These cells are characterized by the loss of H3K27me3, which leads to stable transcriptional repression, influencing genes that are known to promote resistance to treatment.

In this episode we discuss how Céline Vallot had her once-in-a-lifetime scientific eureka-moment, when, during her postdoc, she first saw XACT coating the whole X-Chromosome in humans and then how she pivoted when starting her own lab and focuses now on single-cell epigenomics in cancer.



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