Here is the latest news about the Human Cell Atlas. We will post updates about science, meetings, funding and publications.
The Human Cell Atlas (HCA) Consortium has released a blueprint for the international initiative’s efforts to create a comprehensive reference map of all human cells, a project that will form the basis for a deeper understanding of human health and for diagnosing, monitoring, and treating disease.
The blueprint’s release — posted as a white paper to the HCA website — coincides with the publication of a Nature commentary by the HCA organizing committee summarizing the consortium’s vision and mission.
In addition, the consortium today also announced the impending release of gene expression profiles from the first one million immune cells collected under the HCA, toward an initial milestone of collecting at least 30 million cells representing several tissues and organs for the atlas’ first draft. These data, to be posted on an online repository by early November, will be freely available for researchers’ use.
In October 2016, the Human Cell Atlas (HCA) initiative launched its planning process. The following year was spent by the HCA community laying out the best way to build such an Atlas while ensuring high-quality, open-access data and global equity. This initial planning phase of meetings, discussions, and early pilot projects has now culminated in the release of the Human Cell Atlas white paper.
In this document, openly available for download, we provide an overview of the effort; our framework for the first draft of the atlas; descriptions of the technology and data analysis tools available to build the atlas; an introduction to the Data Coordination Platform that will host the data for researchers worldwide; a deeper look at biological systems we plan to explore and map; and details on the organization and governance of the HCA consortium and its relationships to the public (including ethical considerations regarding organ and tissue donors) and to funding support.
The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is funding 38 pilot projects to help build new technologies, best practices, and data analysis techniques for the Human Cell Atlas.
The next Human Cell Atlas meeting will happen at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel next week.
This meeting will discuss the progress that the Human Cell Atlas has made in a year since the Launch Meeting and will make plans to ensure further success in the future.
The agenda and more information can be found here.
The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative invites applications for one year projects to develop computational tools, algorithms, visualizations, and benchmark datasets in support of the Human Cell Atlas. Participants in this project will collaborate with each other and with Chan Zuckerberg Initiative scientists and engineers to accelerate progress, facilitate communication, and maximize open dissemination of the resulting tools.
To access the full RFA, including details regarding project specifications, project requirements, eligibility, key dates, and contact information, visit https://chanzuckerberg.com/initiatives/rfa/
To access the full application instructions, visit https://chanzuckerberg.com/initiatives/rfa/instructions/
Applications are due August 28, 2017 by 5:00 PM PT. Register today at https://chanzuckerberg.fluxx.io
Following on from the successful meeting held in California in February, the Human Cell Atlas community is planning two further meetings.
The first meeting will focus on computational methods and will be hosted by the Karolinska Institute and held in Stockholm, Sweden on 1–2 June 2017.
The second meeting will be a general meeting hosted by the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel on 18–19 October 2017.
Information about these meetings will be posted on the Meetings page of this site.
The next Human Cell Atlas meeting will be held at Stanford University on 23-24 February 2017, hosted by The Chan Zuckerberg Biohub and Chan Zuckerberg Science.
Invitees will gather in order to formulate recommendations to advance the Human Cell Atlas project. In particular, this meeting will focus on addressing the technological challenges and opportunities presented by the Human Cell Atlas in areas including large-scale single-cell RNA sequencing, spatially-resolved methods, single-cell proteomics, epigenomics, and sample handling. The meeting will also address quality controls, benchmarking and method comparison.
A group of leading biomedical researchers from around the world is undertaking a pioneering effort to describe the cells in the human body.
The Human Cell Atlas would create a reference map of all human cells, to revolutionise how scientists and doctors understand, diagnose and treat disease. This exciting initiative brings together an international community of researchers contributing their diverse expertise.