The cell is the building block of all living organisms and is incredibly complex. We’re taking a novel, holistic approach to understand the human cell and help accelerate cell biology and biomedical research.

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COVID-19 update

To minimize risk of transmission of COVID-19 among employees and to meet Washington state mandates, we activated a work from home policy for non-essential employees, effective March 6th. 

While our experimental program is compromised, all of our other activities continue uninhibited and we remain open for science. Our cell lines and plasmids are still available from Coriell and Addgene, respectively.  Our computational analysis tools and visualization platforms can be viewed and utilized by researchers and educators on  

If your laboratory is working on COVID-19 research, and you think any of our resources might help you, please let us know at

Our bodies are composed of trillions of specialized cells. It’s the building block that makes us—and unmakes us—in health and disease. The Allen Institute for Cell Science uses diverse technologies and approaches at a large scale to study the cell and its components as an integrated system. Our live imaging data of the major cell structures, tagged by genome-editing human stem cells, is used to develop predictive models of cell states and behavior. One of our founding credos is open science, therefore, all our data and methods at the Allen Cell Explorer are publicly available to scientists worldwide.


Allen Cell Explorer

Access our data portal where you can explore publicly available data, tools and models, including large-scale 3D imaging data, predictive models and cell observations, detailed methods, and descriptions of cell lines available for research.

Our Impact

See how Christopher Chen from Boston University's Tissue Microfabrication Laboratory used the Allen Institute's publicly available human cell lines to study the structure that gives our heart muscle the ability to contract and pump blood.

Cell Science News


Ru Gunawardane | Science in Sixty

April 12, 2021

Ru Gunawardane, Ph.D., is the Executive Director of the Allen Institute for Cell Science, where she leads a team of scientists, engineers, artists and other experts, all working together to understand how our cells function.


Cell Shorts | Building a better model of blindness and eye disease

March 3, 2021

Researchers at the University of Washington are working on growing human retinal tissue in the lab to better understand macular degeneration, glaucoma and other vision disorders


New cell line lets researchers use CRISPR to reversibly switch off genes

October 20, 2020

‘CRISPR interference’ technique enables study of basic cell biology and disease in human stem cells