Name: Prim Singh
Department of Biomedical Sciences
CV and research interest
Obtained PhD in 1986 from Cambridge University and have headed groups in Cambridge (UK), Edinburgh (UK), Hamburg (Germany), Berlin (Germany), Novosibirsk (Russia) and Nur-Sultan (Kazakhstan). Raised ~$8M in funding from Academia, Industry and Charities. I have two areas of research interest:
- Polymer-polymer phase separation and synthetic biology
We have proposed a new paradigm for understanding how compartmentalization of the genome into heterochromatin and euchromatin is directed by polymer-polymer phase separation mediated by HP1 proteins (publication 1 below; submitted). Our approach is based on polymer physics, where HP1-containing heterochromatin domains/complexes are treated as “blocks” in a block co-polymers (BCPs). Notably, work on synthetic BCPs has attracted considerable attention because they can self-assemble into ordered nanostructures that have considerable practical utility. The stage is therefore set for a new synthetic biology where manipulation of HP1 proteins can be used to drive assembly of different nanostructures that can regulate the 3D organisation of the genome.
- Age reprogramming and epigenetic rejuvenation
Age reprogramming represents a novel method for generating patient-specific tissues for transplantation – see publications 2 and 4 below. Age reprogramming bypasses the de-differentiation/re-differentiation cycle that is characteristic of the induced pluripotent stem (iPS) and nuclear transfer-embryonic stem (NT-ES) cell technologies that drive current interest in regenerative medicine. Instead, age reprogramming aims to rejuvenate the specialized functions of an old cell without de-differentiation; age reprogramming does not require developmental reprogramming through an embryonic stage, unlike the iPS and NT-ES cell-based therapies.