Welcome to the Kelly Lab
Our research, which includes efforts at both Brigham Young University and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, focuses on extending mass spectrometry-based biochemical measurements to trace samples including single cells. We have recently developed a sample processing and analysis platform based on robotic nanoliter pipetting and microfabricated “nanowell” chips, which enables highly reproducible, quantitative and in-depth proteome analyses to be achieved at single-cell level. Termed nanoPOTS (Nanodroplet Processing in One pot for Trace Samples), this platform dramatically increases efficiency and recovery of proteomic processing by downscaling preparation volumes to the nanoliter scale.
Complex biological processes involve dynamic interactions between individual cells, often spanning multiple cell types, as well as different fates, states, functions and susceptibilities within a given cell type. In these dynamic processes, conventional bulk measurement are limited, as contributions from individual cells are averaged and crucial information is lost. Direct measurements of single cells are needed to characterize e.g. dynamic cellular transitions, regulatory mechanisms, and the contribution of the microenvironment on cellular processes.
Current Research Efforts
Increasing measurement sensitivity and proteome coverage for single cells through further improvements in sample processing, separations and mass spectrometryDeveloping low-cost nanoliter sample processing solutions for broad disseminationIncreasing measurement throughput for single cell proteomicsApplications to biomedical research, often through collaboration