The Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group is forming a center at the University of Washington that will map cell development in organisms.
The Allen Discovery Center for Cell Lineage Tracing will be located at the University of Washington's School of Medicine. Scientists there will use cutting-edge technology to put together maps showing how many different cells come together to create a single organism, according to a news release from the Seattle, Wash., company.
The center's research is expected to benefit such fields as developmental biology, neuroscience, cancer biology and regenerative medicine. The center will receive $10 million for four years, and there is a chance that it could get up to $30 million for an eight-year period.
The center will potentially help researchers start to answer questions about where cells come from and how they can be tracked back to their beginnings. Trying to unveil how cells are connected between generations of them has been a challenge for researchers in terms of the technology they used in the past.
Jay Shendure, a professor of genome sciences in the University of Washington's School of Medicine, and the California Institute of Technology's Michael Elowitz will co-direct the center. Harvard University's Alex Schier will serve as the site director.