Allen Institute 2017 Year in Review

It was another banner year for the Allen Institute in 2017. Check out highlights from across the Institute this year below.

We launched the Allen Cell Explorer.

In April, we announced the launch of the Allen Cell Explorer: a one-of-a-kind portal and dynamic digital window into the human cell. The website combines large-scale 3D imaging data, the first application of deep learning to create predictive models of cell organization, gene edited human stem cell lines and a growing suite of powerful tools.

We added human data to the Allen Cell Types Database.

The Allen Institute for Brain Science has added the first data from human nerve cells to the Allen Cell Types Database: a publicly available tool for researchers to explore and understand the building blocks of the human brain.

This first release includes electrical properties from approximately 300 living cortical neurons of different types derived from 36 patients, with accompanying 3D reconstructions of their shape or anatomy for 100 cells, and computer models simulating the electrical behavior of these neurons.

Learn more in our news story and press release and watch the video about the announcement.

Two new Allen Discovery Centers


The Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group announced the creation of two new Allen Discovery Centers, one at UW Medicine and one at Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Each center is funded at $10 million over four years, with the potential for $30 million over eight years. The Allen Discovery Center at UW Medicine will use newly developed technology to create global maps of development that reveal the relationships between the vast numbers of diverse cells that make up a single organism, with major impacts across developmental biology, neuroscience, cancer biology, regenerative medicine and other fields. The Allen Discovery Center at Boston Children's Hospital will use a multidisciplinary approach to understand when and how the uniquely human brain evolved, and identify the roles of genes involved in that evolution.

Learn more about the two new Allen Discovery Centers and the teams behind them, and read our profile of Allen Discovery Center leader Jay Shendure.

New Allen Distinguished Investigators


Five new Allen Distinguished Investigator (ADI) awards to researchers conducting pioneering research in epigenetics, aging and evolution. Each ADI is funded at $1.5 million over three years, totaling $7.5 million in funding.

Learn more about the ADI projects and researchers in our news story.

The Frontiers Group also joined forces with the American Heart Association to support two Allen Distinguished Investigator projects in the frontier field of the extracellular matrix and its role in heart disease. Learn more in our press release.

We added new data, visualizations and models to our tools.

The Allen Institute for Brain Science updated both the Allen Cell Types Database and the Allen Brain Observatory with enhanced analysis and fresh data as we continue to grow these resources for the community. We have been keeping our resources up to date with additional lines in our Allen Cell Collection, new image data, plasmids and tutorials. View a summary of our updates over the past year here.

And much more.

Read our Annual Report, and check out more recaps of 2017 for Brain Science, Cell Science and the Frontiers Group.