Single-cell Technology: a unique analysis at the heart of each cell


Hearing children laugh or cry when I arrive at the Institute in the morning is what makes me strive to excel. With the single-cell technology, I really feel that I am a pioneer and extremely useful in genetic research. We absolutely need to make rapid progress in this area.

Marine, Design Engineer 

The Project

Single-cell analyses are molecular biology technologies that develop research on one single human cell (when usually we use a statistical population composed of hundreds of thousands of cells). They should allow us to shed light on unknown areas of diseases, their diagnosis, their mechanism, and their treatment.

The Single-cell technology contributes to the understanding of the relationship between mutant genes and symptoms…

by strengthening the analysis of gene expression at the single-cell level and by precisely identifying the cells implicated in genetic diseases.

…It lays the foundation for personalized medicine.

Through this, Imagine Researchers produce a huge amount of data. By combining it with Artificial Intelligence tools at their disposal, they can provide each patient with a precise molecular profile for a more appropriate treatment.

Context & Objectives

Until now, it was possible (from hundreds of thousands of collected cells) to establish an average of the genetic abnormalities of cells, and make an overall diagnosis of the disease. However, it was impossible to know precisely which cells were involved.

By isolating each cell, we can now detect any abnormality in the expression of certain specific genes, i.e. achieve a better understanding of the disease. As we know, the more accurate the diagnosis of a disease, the shorter the diagnosis time and the more effective the treatment offered to the patient.

Thanks to this “cellular identity and health card”, Institut Imagine’s objective is to reduce misdiagnoses, increase the number of diagnoses from 50% to 80% by 2026, and bring innovative treatments to patients more quickly.

Amount to fund
2,000 K€
Overall funding over 5 years

/ For laboratory recruitment*, including 90 K€ per year to recruit a computational biologist for bioinformatics analyses

/ For research expenditure and the associated computing power including 160 K€ per year for research expenditure alone

/ For single-cell technological developments : 100 K€ to 200 K€ per year

* In 2019, this laboratory received seed funding of 600 K€ as part of the SESAME Filières PIA call for proposals. This call for proposals was launched by the State and the Île-de-France Region with the assistance of BPI France, to support the structuring of economic sectors and strengthen the scientific and technological competitiveness of Ile-de-France.