Announcing 85 grants to support the Human Cell Atlas

Apr 19, 2018

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The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) today announced new funding for 85 projects to support the Human Cell Atlas, a global effort to map every type of cell in the healthy human body as a resource for studies of health and disease. The grants total $15 million over one year.

Projects are focused on developing open computational tools, algorithms, visualizations, and benchmark datasets to enable researchers around the globe to work with the large variety of molecular and imaging data being generated by scientists working on the Human Cell Atlas. The grantees will also collaborate with each other, and with our scientists and software engineers, to maximize the impact of the new tools and technologies.

“I am thrilled to welcome this distinguished group of grantees to the CZI family, and I am excited

about how they will support the ambitious Human Cell Atlas effort,” said Priscilla Chan MD, co-founder of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. “Working together and with our team of scientists and engineers, these partners will create new ways for scientists to use information about healthy and diseased cells. Their efforts will help to accelerate progress toward our goal of curing, preventing, or managing all diseases by the end of the century.”

There are 85 collaborative projects being recommended for funding in response to an open Request for Applications we issued in July 2017. Funding is being awarded to 83 principal investigators at 53 institutions, and in nine countries spanning four continents. Detailed information on each project is available at this link: https://www.chanzuckerberg.com/human-cell-atlas/comp-tools.

We are excited to begin working on these promising projects with new partners from across the globe, including experts in experimental biology, engineering, and computational biology. Enabling them to collaborate and bring their diverse perspectives to the work is the core of our approach to advancing biomedical science.

Over the course of the next year, the grantees will work together and share progress to coordinate efforts and maximize the usability of these tools. Working with our science and software engineering teams, they will help bring these tools to the broader scientific community and where appropriate, link them to the Human Cell Atlas Data Coordination Platform.

This new funding round marks the third set of projects we are funding in support of the Human Cell Atlas. Last year, we announced funding and engineering support to build a Data Coordination Platform, as well as funding for 38 pilot projects to help create new technologies, best practices, and data analysis techniques.