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Klarman Cell Observatory

Human diseases arise from malfunctions in the cellular processes that control physiology — a key component is missing or defective; a key "circuit" is over- or under-active. To understand disease and develop effective treatments, we need a comprehensive picture of all the cellular components and all of the cellular circuits in which they function.  

The Klarman Cell Observatory (KCO), established by Broad Institute with a grant from the Klarman Family Foundation, began in 2012 as a pilot effort to systematically define cellular circuits in mammalian cells. In its initial phase, it developed and built on breakthrough technologies and on collaborations that cut across scientific disciplines. These technologies and collaborations were a major driving force behind the launch of the international Human Cell Atlas initiative.

In its second phase, launched in 2017, the KCO is expanding from elucidating the circuits within cells to understanding how cells work together to create functional tissues. KCO scientists continue to build new experimental and computational tools to investigate single cells and their functional relationship with each other, and remains deeply committed to open sharing of tools and data to accelerate research worldwide.

The KCO is led by Broad chair of the faculty and core institute member Aviv Regev, who is also a professor in the MIT Department of Biology and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. The KCO has a dedicated team that pursues projects in a variety of tissues together with collaborators from throughout the Broad community and beyond.