From transcription factor binding to function: unraveling the stem cell pluripotency network by repurposing CRISPR/Cas9

Speaker Name: 
Ali Shariati
Speaker Title: 
Postdoctoral Scholar
Speaker Organization: 
Stanford University
Start Time: 
Thursday, February 28, 2019 - 12:00pm
End Time: 
Thursday, February 28, 2019 - 1:00pm
Biomed 200
Camilla Forsberg


Interactions between transcription factors and their genomic binding sites control gene activity. Despite tremendous progress in mapping the binding sites of transcription factors across the genome, outstanding questions still remain. How does transcription factor binding relate to activity of the target gene? How do individual transcription factor binding sites contribute to specific cellular phenotypes?

In my seminar I will present a new method, termed CRISPRd, for the rapid functional analysis of specific transcription factor binding sites. I will show how this new technology can be used to unravel the biological function of stem cell pluripotency transcription factors. I will also discuss our current efforts to expand CRISPRd technology for the genome-wide perturbation of the pluripotency transcription network. I will conclude by presenting the future research directions of my own laboratory to investigate the mechanisms that link the cell division cycle to cellular differentiation in pluripotent cells. 


Ali Shariati received his PhD in Biomedical Sciences in 2014 in the laboratory of Bart De Strooper at the University of Leuven in Belgium. Dr. Shariati is conducting his postdoctoral work in the laboratory of Jan Skotheim in the Department of Biology at Stanford University where he has received interdisciplinary training across stem cell biology and bioengineering disciplines.

Dr. Shariati’s primary research interest is to apply bioengineering principles to determine the feedback mechanisms that link the cell division cycle to cellular differentiation decisions in pluripotent cells. His postdoctoral work was supported by a National Service Research Award (F32) from NIH/NIGMS and he was recently awarded a K99/R00 transition to independence award from NIH/NIGMS.