Chan Zuckerberg Awards $15 Million for Human Cell Atlas


The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative has awarded grants totaling $15 million in support of an "open reference" atlas of all cells in the healthy human body, Geek Wire reports.

Awarded through CZI’s Science Initiative, the grants to eighty-five different projects will support the creation of new computational tools, algorithms, visualizations, and benchmark datasets for the Human Cell Atlas, an intensely focused effort to map every cell in the human body in order to better understand and improve human health. The third round of grants awarded by CZI in support of the cell mapping project includes a grant to Raphael Gottardo of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, who is working to adapt the community-driven software platform Bioconductor to seamlessly fit with the kinds of analyses and experimental data researchers participating in the atlas project are generating. That data "is probably some of the largest data that we’re going to get from the fields of biology or human health," Gottardo said. "So big data and cloud computing are going to be big parts of what we’re doing."

"These partners will be working together — and with CZI scientists and engineers — in new ways that we hope will…accelerate progress toward our goal of curing, preventing, or managing disease," said CZI co-founder Priscilla Chan in a Facebook post. "I look forward to following their progress over the coming year.

For more information about individual projects funded through the initiative, see the Human Cell Atlas website.

Clare McGrane. “Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Hands Out $15 Million to Help Scientists ‘Map Every Cell in the Human Body’.” Geek Wire 04/19/2018. “Dr. Raphael Gottardo Awarded Pilot Funding From Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.” Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Press Release 04/27/2018.