Center for Single Cell Genomics


Since its founding, JCVI has been a leader in the development of cutting-edge laboratory and computational genomics technologies, including methods for sequencing and analyzing the expressed genome from single cells. In 2017, JCVI established the Center for Single Cell Genomics, led by La Jolla Campus Director Richard Scheuermann. The Center has extended and applied these cutting-edge single cell genomics technologies in several exciting areas. In collaboration with the Allen Institute for Brain Science, JCVI investigators applied single cell RNA sequencing and artificial intelligence machine learning analytics to cells isolated from post-mortem human brain and discovered ten distinct inhibitory neuron subtypes, including the characterization of a novel group of interneurons with human-specific features never described in rodents.

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The discovery of human-specific neuron cell types will help scientists determine how the function of our brain makes us uniquely human. By applying single cell RNA sequencing to blood cells from healthy volunteers, JCVI investigators have also found that the abundance of a novel blood cell subtype could predict which individuals would respond to a single dose of the Hepatitis B vaccine. These findings will allow investigators to design pre-conditioning regimens that could increase vaccination efficacy in the future. And by applying these single cell genomics technologies to cells isolated from the cerebrospinal fluid of multiple sclerosis patients, JCVI investigators have discovered abnormal cell types associated with disease pathogenesis. These findings provide new information about the causes of autoimmune diseases, and will be used to identify novel targets for new therapies.