Welcome to the Gawad lab! We work at the interface of biotechnology, computational biology, cellular biology, and clinical medicine. We take pride in our ability to think creatively to devise innovative solutions to challenging biological questions. We are focused on studying how the genomes of individual cells evolve when placed under selection pressure, and aim to understand how that genetic diversity contributes to human health and disease.
Cancer genome sequencing studies have shown clonal heterogeneity is the major cause of treatment resistance that ultimately causes cancer to recur. We are now studying the process of clonal evolution while patients are undergoing cancer treatment using single-cell sequencing methods we have developed in the lab. We aim to identify which cancer clonotypes are associated with resistance to specific drugs so we can better understand and predict treatment response.
Infectious diseases continue to be one of the major causes of early mortality worldwide. We are using single-cell sequencing methods we have developed to understand how more virulent pathogens emerge from a population of bacteria or viruses. We are also using these methods to more deeply understand how antibiotic resistance develops.
Although we have made tremendous progress in our ability to interrogate genomes in the past twenty years, we can still do better. We are continuously thinking about ways to improve how we measure genomic variation within a cell. We are also developing novel computational methods for modeling the evolution of populations of cells using single-cell sequencing data.
Research Data Analyst