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Broad Institute, Fluidigm launch Single-Cell Genomics Center
by Kelsey Kaustinen  |  Email the author


SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO--The Broad Institute and Fluidigm Corp. have announced the launch of a new research center focused on accelerating the development of research in mammalian single-cell genomics. The Single-Cell Genomics Center is expected to become a focal point for collaboration amongst single-cell genomics researchers, and will be located in Cambridge, Mass., at the Broad Institute. It will feature a complete suite of Fluidigm single-cell tools, protocols and technologies, including the BioMark HD System.
"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 center to inspire, enable and accelerate efforts in the emerging field of single-cell research," Gajus Worthington, president and Chief Executive Officer of Fluidigm, said in a press release.  
Fluidigm's technology makes single-cell studies—which have historically lacked standardized, easy-to-use research methods—easier by converting cellular heterogeneity into a source of information. It offers the means necessary to analyze single cells, including processing of a large number of cells, interrogation of a large number of gene targets and microfluidics and sensitivity at a nanoscale level.  
"With the Single-Cell Genomics Center, we will enable researchers to access the exciting new world of single-cell genomics, catalyze discoveries and advance our understanding of this important area of biology," Wendy Winckler, Ph.D., director of the Genetic Analysis Platform at the Broad Institute, said in a press release.  
Fluidigm and the Broad Institute intend the Single-Cell Genomics Center to develop novel single-cell, microfluidic approaches for gene-expression profiling, RNA/DNA sequencing and epigenetic analysis. The ultimate goal is to enhance the accessibility of single-cell research for the greater scientific community, developing new workflows, bioinformatics tools, reagents and data sets. The Center is the result of multiple collaborations between the two companies across several genomic platforms.

"Our intent is to establish the Center as a focal point to enhance collaboration and accelerate the science, applications, methods and discoveries in single-cell genomics research," Ken Livak, Ph.D., Fluidigm Senior Scientific Fellow, said in a press release. Livak will act as the Alliance Manager at the Broad Institute and will oversee research projects between the Center and project partners. "Our efforts with the Broad Institute in forming a center that specifically focuses on single-cell research represent a big step forward for this emerging area of biological research."
The Center is currently having Fluidigm equipment installed, and the first project proposals are being solicited from Broad's community of researchers. The Center is expected to be fully operational this quarter.    
SOURCE: Fluidigm press release
Code: E05101201



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