Solving the mysteries of bioscience
We are an independent nonprofit bioscience research institute aimed at unlocking the mysteries of human biology through foundational science.
Foundational Science Fuels Breakthroughs
We are leaders in large-scale research that transforms our understanding of human health and disease and shapes how science is conducted worldwide.
Inspiring Next-Generation Scientists
To us, open science extends to inspiring the next generation of scientists by supporting access to science resources, research, and experiences.
We are celebrating 20 years of science impact toward speeding discovery in human health and disease.
In 2003, the Allen Institute launched with just four employees working in a small, rented laboratory toward one audacious goal, driven by founder Paul Allen’s vision: to map an entire mammalian brain in a way the world had never seen. That project, that Allen Mouse Brain Atlas, became a hallmark for the way the Allen Institute works — cohesive teams tackling big problems in biology and sharing their findings openly to benefit all of science and humanity. Today, 20 years later, the Allen Institute is building foundations and reaching new frontiers in our quest to fully understand the brain, the cell, and the immune system.
Foundations for discovery
We believe in open science for the benefit of humanity. Since our inception, we’ve shared a total of 24 petabytes of open data resulting from all our research endeavors. That’s the equivalent amount of data to 320 years of HD-TV video. The publication describing the Allen Mouse Brain Atlas, our first large brain atlas, has been cited by more than 3,500 other scientific publications and has fueled research ranging from sleep apnea to addiction to Alzheimer’s disease.
We share more than just data — we also make our gene-edited cell lines, plasmids, mouse lines, detailed protocols, and many other resources publicly available. Sharing foundational data and tools provides a bedrock for others in the scientific community to accelerate their research or to tackle problems they wouldn’t have been able to otherwise address.
Science that couldn’t be done anywhere else
Thanks to our founder’s forward-looking vision and generosity, we’re able to conduct science at a scale not possible at most non-profits. This ranges from the creation of more than 55 gene-edited human stem cell lines to six high-volume transmission electron microscopes that churn out structural data of hundreds of thousands of brain cells and hundreds of millions of synapses. We take our responsibilities as stewards of that generous, purposeful funding to heart, choosing projects that have the potential to broadly benefit the fields of neuroscience, cell biology, and human immunology.
How we do what we do
People are at the heart of everything we do at the Allen Institute. Our work aims to ultimately benefit humanity by transforming human health, and our disease-focused work at the Allen Institute for Immunology keeps the patient experience front and center. But all of our work is possible only because of the dedicated hearts and minds of our employees, a crew we call Allenites that comprises neuroscientists, geneticists, engineers, mathematicians, financial experts, HR professionals and many more — all working together to tackle big problems in biology.
Explore key moments of impact