Understanding the Complexity of Life One Cell at a Time


One Cell

Type: Vanderbilt Reinvestment Award (VRA)

In living organisms, several single cells interact in non-intuitive ways to support complex functions such as cognition, cardiovascular integrity and immunity. Rare single cells often maintain tissue health or, conversely, drive disease. A current challenge is to understand how large ensembles of single cells accomplish these complex functions. Next generation technologies and computation have spawned the field of Single-Cell Biology (SCB), penetrating the complexity of life originating from the single-cell level. Six centers from across the School of Medicine, the School of Engineering and VUMC have succeeded in introducing S-CB technologies on campus. In order to build upon the success generated by these six centers, this project will support the formation of a S-CB Consortium of Centers that will transform existing S-CB investments into a coherent infrastructure. The consortium will coordinate efforts and investments in S-CB in a bottom-up strategy to support and shepherd technological advances and expand access and education to the whole community. This infrastructure will enhance the already tangible return on current S-CB investment, enable accessibility by interested investigators and position Vanderbilt as a S-CB world leader. The group will capitalize on singular capabilities that exist at Vanderbilt among a cadre of uniquely qualified investigators with expertise in distinct disciplines that share common challenges in S-CB.

Faculty Participants

Lead Faculty in bold

School of Medicine (Basic Science)

School of Medicine (Clinical)

College of Arts & Science

  • John Capra, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences

School of Engineering

  • Theodore Bapty, Research Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering