Published: 17-10-2017 15:25 | Updated: 18-10-2017 07:52

Facebook founder supports research at Karolinska Institutet

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is funding 38 pilot projects to help build tools and technologies for the international collaboration Human Cell Atlas. Two of the projects are based at SciLifeLab (Science for Life Laboratory), including one led by Professor Sten Linnarsson at Karolinska Institutet.

The Human Cell Atlas is a global collaboration to map and characterise all cells in the human body, in regard to cell types, numbers, locations, relationships, and molecular components. The atlas aims to provide a three-dimensional map of how cell types work together to form tissues, knowledge of how all body systems are connected, and insights into how changes in the map underlie health and disease.

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, formed by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Dr. Priscilla Chan, has now announced the support of 38 different efforts to build new technologies, best practices, and data analysis techniques for the Human Cell Atlas.

Aims to characterise cells in heart, brain and lung

The two projects that are based in Sweden are led by Professor Sten Linnarsson at Karolinska Institutet/SciLifeLab and Associate Professor Emma Lundberg at KTH Royal Institute of Technology/SciLifeLab.

Sten Linnarsson’s project aims to characterise cell types of heart, brain and lung tissue and develop robust tissue handling protocols. Sten Linnarsson is a part of the initiative’s steering group and is one of the researchers behind development of the techniques which enable the project.

Emma Lundberg’s project focuses on pancreas and brain tissue as well as data integration and consistency of analysis results.

Other organisations involved in the Human Cell Atlas project are the Wellcome Trust, the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI), the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub, the Broad Institute, the Sanger Institute and UC Santa Cruz, among others.