Nov 15, 2021 · 3 min read

CZI Awards Over $5M to Advance Technologies and Expand Global Access to Bioimaging

Grants Support Plugin Development for the napari Image Analysis Platform and Imaging Core Facilities and Network Organizations From Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Former Soviet Countries

A cluster of fluorescent cells are illuminated with red, green and blue light.
Confocal image of a clump of mouse embryonic stem cells genetically modified to express higher levels of N-cadherin (shown in red) to increase connectivity of their differentiated derivatives. The use of such modified cells can help to replace fibrous scar with functionally active myocardium. | Photograph by Narine Sarvazyan.

Today, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) announced more than $5 million to advance bioimaging technologies, increase access to these tools, and build capacity for biomedical researchers. Of the funding, $1 million will support 41 plugin projects for the imaging analysis tool napari, while $4.1 million will support 17 projects to increase access to imaging instrumentation and expertise for biomedical researchers in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and former Soviet countries.

“Expanding imaging capacity for biomedical researchers requires advancing imaging software and hardware, expanding access to shared tools and resources, and building capacity for imaging scientists and organizations to advance research in their home countries,” said CZI Imaging Program Officer Stephani Otte. “We’re excited to welcome our new imaging grantees, from software engineers to imaging scientists, who are furthering the boundaries of understanding health and disease.”

napari is a community-built, Python-based, open-source tool designed for browsing, annotating, and analyzing large multi-dimensional images. The tool enables Python practitioners, biologists, and other scientists to leverage Python’s scientific resources without the need for prior coding experience. The napari Plugin Accelerator grantees will join a community of researchers who are contributing to an extensible plugin ecosystem to provide easy access to reproducible and quantitative bioimage analysis. These grants will support development and maintenance of napari’s growing ecosystem of plugins, which can be found on the napari hub, built by the imaging team at CZI. Learn more about creating napari plugins and view the full list of grantees.

“Plugin developers and software maintainers are essential to biomedical science,” said CZI Science Product Manager Justin Kiggins. “We hope these new members of the growing community of academic plugin developers continue to create open source software that enables advances in biomedical science, and we invite others to contribute new plugins to the napari hub.” 

The new Expanding Global Access to Bioimaging projects represent 16 countries from Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and former Soviet countries. These 17 projects will expand access to imaging expertise, technologies, and capacity building for researchers. Teams foster collaborations between imaging scientists and biomedical researchers and increase representation of regional imaging scientists in the global community. View the full list of grantees.

“To cure, prevent, or manage all diseases, we need to make sure that scientists around the world have access to top technology and expertise,” said CZI Imaging Community Program Lead Vladimir Ghukasyan. “These grantees will connect researchers across their respective regions to conduct training, expand access to imaging facilities and technologies, and foster best practices, with positive impacts that will reach well beyond their regions.” 

This funding builds on CZI’s support of imaging scientists, who are increasing collaboration between biologists and technology experts and improving the tools scientists use for imaging, as well as global networks such as Global BioImaging and BioImaging North America, which both support regional imaging, foster the global community of imaging scientists, and offer job shadowing programs. CZI also supports the frontiers of imaging technology development. Read more about our work in imaging.


About the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative was founded in 2015 to help solve some of society’s toughest challenges — from eradicating disease and improving education, to addressing the needs of our local communities. Our mission is to build a more inclusive, just, and healthy future for everyone. For more information, please visit

Amazon To Debut CZI-Supported Award-Winning Documentary, "For Love & Life: No Ordinary Campaign"
CZI Launches AI Advisory Group and Residency Program To Accelerate Development of Virtual Cell Models