Allen Impact

At the Allen Institute, open science is one of our founding credos. That means we share our data and research tools with the broader scientific community openly and freely. We do this because we know scientific progress depends on shared knowledge and access to data. Over the years, we’ve seen researchers around the world taking our data, tools and cell lines in new directions we never could have imagined. Below are some of the stories of their discoveries — and the impact of the Allen Institute.

Data Stories

The Allen Institute for Brain Science released its first public data, from the Allen Mouse Brain Atlas, in 2004. Since then, we’ve shared data and tools from mouse, human and non-human primate brains. The neuroscience community has used our data to gain insight into autism, language disorders, the biology of the visual system and more.


Data Stories | A tiny brain structure with an outsized role in neurological disorders

February 8, 2019

Neuroscientist Emily Sylwestrak’s studies of the habenula could one day shed light on the biology of addiction. It all began with a chance observation she made sifting through data from the Allen Institute.


Data Stories | Coding the visual world

October 11, 2018

See how Stanford electrical engineering student Amy Christensen used data from the Allen Brain Observatory to study how visual information is coded by the brain.


Data Stories | Untuned but not irrelevant

June 19, 2018

See how University of Colorado School of Medicine researcher Joel Zylberberg used data from our Allen Brain Observatory to test his hypothesis about the visual system’s “untuned neurons.”

Cell Shorts

The Allen Institute for Cell Science generates predictive models of human cells and human stem cell lines, available for anyone to order for their research, that are genetically engineered to carry fluorescent tags targeting key cellular structures. Learn more about the impact of our cell lines and tools on the cell biology and biomedical research community.


Cell Shorts | A new window into heart cells

January 30, 2019

See how Christopher Chen used the Allen Cell Collection to study the development of sarcomeres in heart muscle cells.


Cell Shorts | A common platform for human cell research

March 7, 2018

See how Bruce Conklin is using our gene-edited WTC cells to find therapies for life threatening genetic diseases.


Cell Shorts | Illuminating the kidney

July 26, 2017

See how researcher Beno Freeman and his colleagues at the University of Washington are using the Allen Institute for Cell Science’s publicly available human induced pluripotent stem cells to study kidney disease and regeneration.