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.
A comprehensive analysis of the architecture and function of the human brain requires a multifaceted strategy for revealing the true complexity and diversity of cell types that reside within. It is the exquisite and complex assembly of these unique cell types into distinct functional circuits that enables us to perform essential tasks such as sensory perception, coordinated movement, cognition, and more. Although much effort has been devoted to anatomical mapping of the human brain using post-mortem tissue in both health and disease, the detailed analysis of functions subserved by individual cells within the living human brain has been more challenging to explore. To achieve this goal, we have established extensive research collaborations with local neurosurgeons in the greater-Seattle area to routinely obtain neurosurgical samples of human cortex for research purposes. The vital human brain tissue is transported to the Allen Institute and sectioned into brain slices for detailed analysis using diverse methodologies including patch clamp electrophysiology, optical imaging, single cell transcriptomic profiling, morphological reconstructions, and array tomography. We hope this effort will culminate in a comprehensive classification of cell types of the human neocortex.