ARC funding to develop methods and protocols for multi-omics on single cells

We were awarded a Discovery Project from the Australian Research Council (ARC) entitled ‘Empirical and computational solutions for multi-omics single-cell assays’ at the end of last year that is now kicking off!

Our multi-disciplinary team includes Dr Heather Lee (University of Newcastle), A/Prof Matt Ritchie(Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research) and A/Prof Stéphanie Bougeard (French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety). Together we aim to  tackle this ambitious project that aims to not only develop computational and statistical tools to extract relevant information from multi-omics single cell data, but also high-quality datasets to drive such computational developments.


How did build the team and the project?

In the past couple of years, I had several discussions with A/Prof Matt Ritchie on what was the best way to enable new computational developments readily applicable to complex biological data sets. The answer is to generate high-quality data ourselves! Our past awarded projects from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative helped us launch a part of this project for single cell RNA-seq data, that we have now published.

Concurrently, I had met Dr Heather Lee (one of the speakers from our Melbourne Integrative Genomics fortnight seminar series), who is a pioneer in developing novel protocols for genome-wide DNA methylation in single cell. These data are complex to process bioinformatically, and to analyse statistically.

A/Prof Stéphanie Bougeard and I have worked together to  start developing innovative multivariate methods to combine independent data sets generated from multiple laboratory, protocols.

With our complementary expertise, we will be able to generate high quality multi-omics single cell data, and develop novel computational methods. Our ultimate aim is to better understand how we can define a cell. I am looking forward to work with this great team!


The team composed of computational and applied statisticians (Kim-Anh Lê Cao left, Stephanie Bougeard, bottom right), Bioinformatician (Matt Ritchie, middle) and a biologist (Heather Lee, top right) will tackle together in vivo and in silico approaches for single cell protocols and methods development.