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Program Goals and Initiatives

 

 

The overall goal of the Single Cell Analysis Program is to accelerate the discovery, development and translation of cross-cutting, innovative approaches to analyzing the heterogeneity of biologically relevant populations of cells in situ. Specifically, the program is:

  • Addressing key roadblocks in analyzing single cells by supporting cross-cutting, transformative research
  • Catalyzing the emerging field of single cell research through a synergistic program of unique initiatives
  • Coordinating NIH efforts in advancing the next-generation of technologies for single cell analysis which will improve our ability to characterize cells and understand the biological significance of heterogeneity

In support of these overarching goals, the program is composed of multiple initiatives.

STUDIES TO EVALUATE CELLULAR HETEROGENEITY USING TRANSCRIPTIONAL PROFILING OF SINGLE CELLS

The first initiative focuses on evaluating cellular heterogeneity, and aims to develop a collaborative program of study to evaluate transcriptional profiles of single human cells derived from a mixed population in a variety of tissue types; classify cell types and cell states based on transcriptional signatures; develop novel analytical tools to evaluate cell heterogeneity using transcriptional endpoints; define technical obstacles and develop novel approaches to alleviate hurdles.

Additional information for RFA-RM-11-013 is available under funded research.

EXCEPTIONALLY INNOVATIVE TOOLS AND TECHNOLOGIES FOR  SINGLE CELL ANALYSIS

The second initiative supports exploratory projects that establish feasibility for high-impact concepts which have the potential to transform single cell analysis, and validate and disseminate exceptionally innovative tools for single cell analysis.

Additional information for RFA-RM-13-020, RFA-RM-021, and RFA-RM-11-014 is available under funded research..

ACCELERATING THE INTEGRATION AND TRANSLATION OF TECHNOLOGIES TO CHARACTERIZE BIOLOGICAL PROCESSES AT THE SINGLE CELL LEVEL

The third initiative emphasizes supporting the validation and translation of innovative tools and novel capabilities for single cell analysis, and developing a broad range of technological solutions that will offer substantial benefits to end users.

Additional information for RFA-RM-11-015, RFA-RM-13-022, and RFA-RM-13-023 is available under funded research..

SINGLE CELL ANALYSIS WORKSHOPS AND MEETINGS

The program hosts annual workshops and meetings with the goals of disseminating current research findings in single cell analysis; discussing and overcoming roadblocks in order to gain a deeper understanding of the significance of cell level heterogeneity; identifying new emerging challenges in single cell analysis and potential technological solutions; and building synergy between the projects supported by this initiative and other projects funded by NIH. These meetings serve as opportunities to foster communication and network among multidisciplinary investigators.

Additional information on past meetings is available at MEETINGS.

SINGLE CELL ANALYSIS CHALLENGE

Through the Follow that Cell challenge, the program strives to highlight and address key roadblocks and opportunities in single cell analysis, as well as attract new approaches and researchers to the field. Phase 1 of the challenge sought robust novel methods for analysis of individual cells to detect and assess changes in cell behavior and function over time, either as a result of natural state changes or when perturebd. Phase 2, Reduction to Practice, is under way with submissions due March 20, 2017.

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