Technology & Facilities

We are based at the University College London Cancer Institute (UCL CI) in the heart of central London (next to UCL Hospital). UCL CI is a world-class CRUK Centre, that performs both basic and translation cancer research. We use the state-of-the-art facilities at UCL CI to study how epithelial, stromal, and immune cells communicate in cancer. Several of these technologies are described below.

Our cell-specific signalling technologies were featured in Trends in Biotechnology 'Systems Biology Analysis of Heterocellular Signalling'

If you are interested in joining the lab, please visit our Contact page. 


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Helios Mass-Cytometer

The 'Helios' is the latest cytometry time-of-flight (CyTOF) platform from Fluidigm. It can measure 50 proteins/PTMs from fixed tissues and organoids at single-cell resolution. The lab uses mass-cytometry to study how oncogenes regulate cell-cell communication across multiple cell types in solid-tumour models.


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Q-Exactive Plus Mass-Spectrometer

UCL CI has two Q-Exactive Plus mass-spectrometers for proteomic and phosphoproteomic analysis of cell signalling. The lab uses isotopic proteome labelling (e.g. SILAC or CTAP) to distinguish different cell types, isobaric labelling (e.g. TMT-10) to resolve multivariate conditions, and automated phosphopeptide enrichment (APE) to achieve broad phosphoproteome coverage. This 'Heterocellular Multivariate Phosphoproteomic' (HMP) technology can simultaneously measure 1,000s of phosphosites from 3 different cell types across 10 different conditions. 


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10x Genomics Chromium

The 10x Genomics Chromium platform rapidly isolates single-cells and barcoded primer-beads in gel-bead emulsions (GEMs). Single-cells can then be lysed, RNA reversed transcribed, amplified, and sequenced. This approach can measure single-cell transcriptomes in 10,000s of cells. Single-cell RNA-seq differential expression data can be combined with cell-specific signalling experiments to provide a comprehensive molecular perspective of heterocellular signalling. 


Fluidigm C1

The Fluidigm C1 is an automated microfluidic sample prep system for single-cell genomics. The C1 can prepare single-cell templates for full length mRNA sequencing (using SMART-Seq technology), DNA sequencing, epigenetics or miRNA expression. While the Drop-Seq system (above) provides excellent 3' differential expression analysis of 1,000s of cells, the C1-SMART-Seq is especially suited for full-length single-cell transcript analysis. 


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High Performance Computing (HPC)

UCL Research Computing Services provide access to High Performance Computing (HPC) environments such as 'Legion', ‘Myriad’, and 'Grace'. Legion is a highly flexible HPC platform (441 nodes, across 8 architectures) whereas Grace is designed for large parallel computing tasks (680 Lenovo NeXtScale nodes). The lab uses UCL's HPCs to analyse complex single-cell signalling data from heterocellular cancer models.