New research centre to focus on mammalian single-cell genomics

Partnership between the Broad Institute and Fluidigm in the US

The Single-Cell Genomics Center will feature a complete suite of Fluidigm single-cell tools, protocols and technologies

The Broad Institute and Fluidigm Corporation have opened a research centre dedicated to accelerating the development of research methods and discoveries in mammalian single-cell genomics.

The Single-Cell Genomics Center will also act as a hub for collaboration among single-cell genomics researchers in many pioneering fields, including stem cells and cancer biology.

The centre will be housed at the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts and feature a complete suite of Fluidigm single-cell tools, protocols and technologies, most notably the BioMark HD system. The centre grew out of ongoing collaborations between the Broad Institute and Fluidigm that bridge multiple genomic platforms.

‘With the Single-Cell Genomics Center, we will enable researchers to access the exciting new world of single-cell genomics, catalyse discoveries and advance our understanding of this important area of biology,’ said Wendy Winckler, director of the Genetic Analysis Platform at the Broad Institute.

Gajus Worthington, president and chief executive of Fluidigm, added: ‘The cell is the fundamental unit of life, and through greater understanding of it, researchers can make breakthroughs in large and important fields, such as cancer diagnosis and therapy, stem cell biology, vaccine development, and even the mounting battle against drug-resistant bacteria.

‘We expect this centre to inspire, enable and accelerate efforts in the emerging field of single-cell research.’

Advances in technology, such as Fluidigm's microfluidic chips and high-throughput instruments, have made single-cell studies feasible by converting cellular heterogeneity from a source of background noise to a source of information enabling cutting-edge discoveries.

Fluidigm’s technology provides the capabilities required to analyse single cells: microfluidics and sensitivity at the nanoscale level; parallel processing of a large number of cells; and interrogation of a large number of gene targets.

The centre will develop novel single-cell, microfluidic approaches for gene expression profiling, RNA/DNA sequencing and epigenetic analysis.