Based on transcriptional profiles of over a hundred different human (fetal) organs, including the gonads, we developed the mathematical algorithm Keygenes to compare transcriptional data from differentiated human pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) with their in vivo counterparts. Our datasets and code are freely available on an open-access website (www.keygenes.nl). Keygenes proved of value to demonstrate the fidelity of kidney organoids derived from induced PSCs (iPSCs).
We are among the first to combine single-cell transcriptomics with exome sequencing allowing reconstruction of parental haplotypes and subsequently quantification of allele specific expression in human female fetal germ cells. This has contributed to uncover the dynamics of X chromosome reactivation and genome imprinting erasure.
Currently, we are studying the cellular networks and molecular pathways that control development and maturation of the oocyte within the human adult and fetal ovary and investing in technology to promote in vitro activation and maturation. We are hiring 1 PhD on this project!
Moreover, we will soon initiate a project to systematically ablate sex-chromosome genes from both female and male human induced pluripotent stem cells and evaluate how they undergo in vitro gametogenesis. We are soon hiring 2 postdocs and 1 technician on this project!