Our research focuses on single-cell biology, in particular applying single-cell expression analysis to characterize the cell types and lineages of the mouse nervous system. The long-term goal of our research is to map the stable cellular states (‘cell types’) that human organs are made of, and to understand the regulatory networks that induce and maintain them; both in normal tissues and in cancer. To achieve these goals, we develop novel technologies for extremely sensitive and accurate detection of DNA and RNA in single cells and other scarce samples. We use advanced molecular biology, large-scale DNA sequencing, microfluidics and microscopy. Many of these technologies have potential use in clinical settings. For example, quantitatively accurate methods developed for single-cell analysis can also be used for the analysis of maternal cell-free DNA, which contains genetic signatures of the unborn fetus.