Nov 16, 2022 · 2 min read

Democratizing Access to Technology To Accelerate the Pace of Scientific Discovery

Chan Zuckerberg CELLxGENE is a groundbreaking open source software tool that helps scientists discover a new understanding about human biology.


For most of history, the human body has remained a mystery. We have over 37 trillion cells in our bodies, each of which is classified into one of up to a couple thousand of cell types, and the function of those cell types dictate everything that makes us human. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is supporting scientists around the world as they construct cell atlases, which provide a molecular definition of all the human cell types in the body.

CZI funded a cohort of scientists at the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub (CZ Biohub) who completed a first draft of such an atlas called Tabula Sapiens. Once complete, this map will help inform our understanding of health and diagnosing, monitoring, or treating every and any disease.

To unlock all the insights from the Tabula Sapiens and other single-cell biology breakthroughs, researchers need tools and technologies to visualize and analyze large datasets. But creating a resource that translates vast amounts of data for researchers to use and understand is no small task. That’s why CZI built Chan Zuckerberg CELL by GENE (CZ CELLxGENE) — a groundbreaking tool that helps scientists make new discoveries about human biology.

CZ CELLxGENE is an open source software platform that helps scientists answer questions about the function of cells within our bodies in seconds, instead of executing experiments that could take years. It’s the largest interoperable corpus of single-cell data. Thousands of researchers are using it every week, including as part of the Tabula Sapiens project and the Human Cell Atlas project.

Go behind the scenes with Stephen Quake, head of science at CZI; Jonah Cool, a program officer on CZI’s single-cell biology team; and Angela Pisco, associate director of bioinformatics at the CZ Biohub to learn how CZ CELLxGENE is being built, the scientific discoveries from the Tabula Sapiens project, and how these efforts are impacting our understanding of health and disease.

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