Meet Semil Choksi of the University of California, San Francisco. An assistant professional scientist in Jeremy Reiter's lab, Semil is on campus for the Stem Cell Biology meeting where he presented a poster titled "Generation of airway stem cells by direct transcriptional reprogramming for disease modeling and regeneration."
What are your research interests? What are you working on?
I study how cell fates are determined in the airway, focusing on motile ciliated cells in the mouse. I am particularly interested in how airway stem cells, which give rise to ciliated cells, are transcriptionally defined.
Was there something specific about the Stem Cell Biology meeting that drew you to apply?
Initially, meeting speakers Brigid Hogan and Jayaraj Rajagopal - who both work on airway stem cells - drew me to attend the meeting. However, I was also excited to learn about novel methods for enhancing cell reprogramming.
What is your key takeaway from the meeting?
Single cell transcriptional profiling is a powerful tool for tracking reprogramming and differentiation (but should not be used to infer lineage relationships).
If someone curious in attending a future iteration of Stem Cell Biology meeting asked you for feedback or advice on it, what would you tell him/her?
This is an intimate, small meeting that will allow you to interact with most of the presenters over the week. I found it to be much more rewarding than larger stem cell meetings.
What do you like most about your time at CSHL?
The CSHL campus is beautiful to explore in the downtime between sessions. I also really enjoyed my interactions with the other attendees.