Thematic Research NetworkSCiNetID – Single Cell Regulatory Networks in Development and Disease
Heterogeneity of cell populations in their response to environmental cues and crosstalk between cells are vital aspects of many biological processes. However, important differences between individual cells are averaged out in the bulk analysis of molecular features, e.g. by sequencing approaches. This is a fundamental limitation in many current studies because highly relevant information is lost about the differences between cell types and their response to perturbances (knock-down/-out, over-expression, drug treatment). To address these shortcomings and answer associated research questions, single cell “omics” methods (genomics, transcriptomics, epigenomics, proteomics and metabolomics) are emerging. They can be integrated with imaging technologies in spatially resolved omics and present a fundamentally new approach to understand life.
Successful progress in this area requires focused interdisciplinary cooperation between technology developers, data analyst and bioinformaticians, as well as biologists and clinicians to drive relevant applications. The TRN aims to foster such cooperations and to develop the single cell life science community in Heidelberg to significantly advance the field.