Western Australian Cancer Single Cell Initiative

Over the past two years, over 40 oncologists, surgeons, pathologists, cell biologists, molecular biologists, genomic scientists and computational biologists from all of the cancer focused medical research institutes, hospitals and universities in Western Australia have come together to form the Western Australian cancer single consortium. Together we aim to apply single cell profiling and pipelined bioinformatic analyses across a broad range of tumours to tackle four cancer themes: i) Tumour – stroma interactions, ii) Heterogeneity and resistance to therapy, iii) Relationships between primary, metastasis and circulating tumour cells, and iv) Biomarkers for diagnosis, prognosis, response and resistance. For hundreds of tumour samples we will generate thousands of single cell profiles. To date, using 10x genomics chromium 3’ libraries we have generated pilot scale single cell profiles of over 200,000 cells (from human oral squamous cell carcinomas, ovarian cancers, mesotheliomas, NSCLC, pre-B ALL, MDS, and preclinical therapeutic mouse models of pancreatic cancer, mesothelioma and breast cancer). I will present an overview of the project and some of our preliminary analyses.

Alistair Forrest

Professor Alistair Forrest

Systems Biology and Genomics Lab, Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, QEII Medical Centre and Centre for Medical Research, the University of Western Australia

Alistair Forrest is the inaugural Cancer Research Trust Senior Fellow and head of the systems biology and genomics lab at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research in Western Australia. He is an expert in transcriptomics and led the international FANTOM5 consortium in Japan to global maps of human promoters, enhancers, microRNAs and long non-coding RNAs using Cap Analysis of Gene Expression and RNA-seq. Recently he led successful bids to the Cancer Research Trust and the Australian Cancer Research Foundation to establish the Western Australian cancer single cell consortium and the ACRF Centre for Advanced Cancer genomics. He researches broadly in the areas of genomics, transcriptomics and systems biology and is interested in describing the biological components encoded in our genomes and how they work together in systems.

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