Accelerating a paradigm shift: the common fund single cell analysis program

It has become exceedingly important to understand the precise molecular profiles of the nearly 40 trillion cells in an adult human because of their role in determining health, disease, and therapeutic outcome. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Common Fund–supported Single Cell Analysis Program (SCAP) was designed to address this challenge.

Researchers from the NIH outline the original program goals and provide a perspective on the impact of the program as a catalyst for exploration of heterogeneity of human tissues at the cellular level. They believe that the technological advances in single-cell RNA sequencing and multiplexed imaging combined with computational methods made by this program will undoubtedly have an impact on broad and robust applications of single-cell analyses in both health and disease research.

Historical trends of single cell analysis publications and research projects


(A) Type 1 applications that were funded as part of the SCAP generated 218 publications. Of these publications, 176 are research articles that were published between 2012 and 2016. The mean and median RCR (Relative Citation Ratio) values are shown here. The RCR benchmark of 1.0 is based on the median RCR for all NIH-funded publications. For additional information about RCR. (B) A text search of PubMed for publications that use the term “single cell analysis” yields 3994 publications, with a 73% increase since 2012 (the year the SCAP was launched). (C) A text search of the Information for Management, Planning, Analysis, and Coordination II (IMPACII) database for awarded NIH applications that use the term “single cell analysis” resulted in 320 unique projects since 1985.

Roy AL, Conroy R, Smith J, Yao Y, Beckel-Mitchener AC, Anderson JM, Wilder EL. (2018) Accelerating a paradigm shift: The Common Fund Single Cell Analysis Program. Science Advances 4(8): eaat8573. [article]

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