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Exploring the building blocks of life

Understanding human cells holistically and dynamically to predict and understand human health and disease.

Human cell rendering showing multiple cellular componentsGoals and Approach

Understanding how cells grow and develop, and being able to predict their future path, is essential for understanding human health.

Using advanced technologies to study the cell and its components as an integrated system, teams at the Allen Institute for Cell Science are working to understand a cell’s history and predict its future by looking at its present makeup and state. A deep holistic understanding of dynamic cellular behavior will ultimately help scientists better understand and predict disease.

In service of that aim, the Allen Institute for Cell Science generates fluorescently tagged human induced pluripotent stem cell lines connected to important cellular processes and makes these lines openly available to the scientific community. These teams also generate dynamic, high-resolution 3D images of live cells and develop predictive models and analysis tools that increase understanding of this vital building block of life.

Open science data, tools, and resources

The Allen Cell Explorer data portal offers an unprecedented view into the organizational diversity of human stem cells. Explore publicly available large-scale 3D imaging data, predictive models and cell observations, detailed methods, and descriptions of gene-edited cell lines available for research.

Studying how normal cells organize and change using our stem cell model system and 3D imaging uncovers fundamental principles in cell biology that can lead to exciting breakthroughs in diagnosing and treating disease.

Learn more about our other Scientific Programs.

Allen Institute for Brain Science

The Allen Institute for Brain Science is focused on understanding the complexities of the brain by mapping its cells and cell types with unprecedented precision and scale.

Learn more

The Allen Institute for Immunology

The Allen Institute for Immunology works to understand the delicate balancing act of the human immune system—how it works when we’re healthy, and what goes wrong in disease.

Learn more