The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, in partnership with the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, has issued a request for applications to support the continued development of the Human Cell Atlas, an international effort to map all cells in the human body.
The trust seeks applications that will collaboratively create a Gut Cell Atlas (GCA), cataloging the many cell types in the small and large intestines. Through the GCA, Helmsley aims to advance precision medicine by understanding the link between cell states, tissue function, and the emergence of disease. The GCA will serve as a foundation for the development of new, effective treatments for Crohn’s disease and will also serve as a model for building other comprehensive organ system atlases.
Helmsley invites applications from principal investigators for up to three-year projects focused on the small and large intestines in healthy individuals and in Crohn's disease patients, from both unaffected and diseased regions. Experts across different disciplines are encouraged to apply their knowledge of cell systems and technologies to the gut.
CZI is also accepting applications for projects aimed at forming Seed Networks that characterize any tissue in the healthy human body. Seed Networks should support continued growth, solidify collaborations, and help generate valuable data and tools for the first draft of the HCA. Seed Networks should consist of at least three principal investigators, including at least one computational biologist or software engineer, together with additional computational biologists, engineers, experimental biologists, and/or physicians.
CZI’s early support of pilot projects for the HCA has helped the community develop shared goals, standards, assays, protocols, and computational resources while exploring a landscape of potential HCA projects. The Seed Networks RFA is CZI’s third RFA in support of the HCA over the past two years. Previously, CZI announced support for eighty-five new projects to create collaborative computational tools in support of building the HCA, as well as thirty-five pilot projects to help establish best practices and technologies.
See the Helmsley Trust website for complete program guidelines and application instructions.