Research

Our group has pioneered the development of single cell genome sequencing technologies, which we apply to understand complex biological processes in human cancers, including tumor initiation, invasion, metastasis and therapeutic resistance. We study cancer as an evolutionary process in which clones undergo selection and expansion in response to selective pressures. We understand the tumor as a complex ecosystem which is maintained by intricate interactions between the tumor cells and stromal cell types. Our mission is to gain new knowledge of cancer evolution that can be exploited to improve the quality of life and decrease morbidity in cancer patients. At MD Anderson we are uniquely positioned to to translate our genomic technologies into the clinic, where they are poised to make a major impact on early detection, diagnostics and therapeutic strategies in cancer patients.

Single Cell Genomics

Cancer Evolution

Liquid Biopsy Genomics

Computational Biology

The Team

Nicholas Navin

Principal Investigator

Emi Sei

Research Laboratory Manager

Ruli Gao

Senior Postdoctoral Fellow

Kaile Wang

Postdoctoral Fellow

Shanshan Bai

Sr. Research Assistant

Min Hu

Sr. Research Assistant

Alexander Davis

Graduate Student

Naveen Ramesh

Graduate Student

Aislyn Schalck

Graduate Student

Darlan Minussi

Graduate Student

Tapsi Seth

Graduate Student

Jake Leighton

Graduate Student

Adnan Elhammali

Resident physician

Rui Ye

Graduate Student

Mashiat Rabbani

Master Student

ALUMNI

Jill Waters, Laboratory Coordinator
Yong Wang, Ph.D, Senior Postdoctoral Fellow
Charissa Kim, MD / Ph.D. Student
Anna Unruh, Ph.D Student
Marco Leung, Ph.D. Student
Pei-Ching Tsai, Senior Research Assistant
Xiuqing Shi, M.D, Graduate Student
Antonio Giordano, MD, Ph.D Student
Jerry Jiang, Undergraduate Student
Jose Acevedo, Undergraduate Student
Rachael Brandt, Undergraduate Student
Jonathan Chen, Undergraduate Student
Annalyssa Long, Research Assistant
Will Pangburn, Undergraduate Student
Hossein Bakhshandeh, Undergraduate Student
Zuhal Oczan, Graduate Rotation Student
Haowei Du, Masters Student
Cheng Peng, Masters Student

Pictures

Selected publications

Chemoresistance Evolution in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Delineated by Single-Cell Sequencing

Cell
  • Charissa Kim
  • Ruli Gao
  • Emi Sei
  • Rachel Brandt
  • Johan Hartman
  • Thomas Hatschek
  • Nicola Crosetto
  • Theodoros Foukakis
  • Nicholas E. Navin
2018Apr

Multiclonal Invasion in Breast Tumors Identified by Topographic Single Cell Sequencing

Cell
  • Anna K. Casasent
  • Ruli Gao
  • Emi Sei
  • William Pangburn
  • Tod Casasent
  • Anna K. Casasent
  • FundaMeric Bernstam
  • Mary E.Edgerton
  • Nicholas E. Navin
2018Jan

Punctuated copy number evolution and clonal stasis in triple-negative breast cancer

Nature Genetics
  • Ruli Gao
  • Alexander Davis
  • Thomas O McDonald
  • Emi Sei
  • Xiuqing Shi
  • Yong Wang
  • Anna Casasent
  • Jill Waters
  • Hong Zhang
  • Franziska Michor
  • Nicholas E. Navin
2016Oct

Clonal evolution in breast cancer revealed by single nucleus genome sequencing

Nature
  • Yong Wang
  • Jill Waters
  • Marco L. Leung
  • Anna Unruh
  • Whijae Roh
  • Xiuqing Shi
  • Ken Chen
  • Paul Scheet
  • Selina Vattathil
  • Han Liang
  • Hong Zhang
  • Rui Zhao
  • Franziska Michor
  • Funda Meric-Bernstam
  • Nicholas E. Navin
2014Jul

Lab News

Code

We strive to develop innovative, well-tested, and well-documented tools for genome research.

SCOPIT: An interactive web tool for estimating the number of cells to sequence  (Preprint)

Weblink
  • Alexander Davis
  • Ruli Gao
  • Nicholas Navin
2018

SiFit: inferring tumor trees from single-cell sequencing data under finite-sites models   (Genome Biology)

  • Hamim Zafar
  • YAnthony Tzen
  • Nicholas Navin
  • Ken Chen
  • Luay Nakhleh
2017May

Monovar: single nucleotide variant detection in single cells  (Nature methods)

  • Hamim Zafar
  • Yong Wang
  • Luay Nakhleh
  • Nicholas Navin
  • Ken Chen
2016Jun

Videos

Meet Dr. Navin and his research program in single cell cancer genomics.

‘Sequencing the Single Cancer Cell’ (2015) ‘Adventures in Genomics’.

‘Sequencing the Single Cell’ (2015) ‘Adventures in Genomics’.

Funding support

We are very grateful for your generous funding support

Jobs

Postdoc Positions in Single Cell Genomics - Data Scientist and Cancer Biologist

Contact Us

Nicholas Navin, Associate Professor

Department of Genetics
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
6767 Bertner Ave. Room BSRB S15.8412
Houston, Tx, 77030

nnavin (at) mdanderson.org