Single Cell Facility

The WIMM Single Cell Facility is an ultra-clean environment for the processing and amplification of single cells and small biological samples for sequencing and other molecular analysis. The facility enables researchers to conduct ultrasensitive genomic analysis to the single cell level without risk of contamination. The facility houses two clean work hoods for setting up of ultrasensitive assays such as RNA-sequencing and targeted single-cell gene expression analysis, and houses two Fluidigm C1 machines for single cell microifluidic processing.

Why single cell?

Individual cells can differ by size, protein levels, and expressed mRNA transcripts, even within nominally homogeneous cell populations. Therefore, the tacit assumption that every cell in your sample behaves exactly the same way is a dangerous gamble; taking averages of pooled cells can mask the dramatic variations in gene expression among cells. Recognizing cellular variations in what appear to be homogenous populations has become crucial to advancing stem cell research, understanding cancer cells, identifying immune responses, studying the effectiveness of biological therapies, and discovering the mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases.

How the facility works

The facility is managed day to day by Dr Neil Ashley, the Facility Manager under the scientific direction of Professor Adam Mead. New users are trained in use of the clean room by the facility manager and are then granted card access. The two C1 machines and PCR workstations can be booked via Agendo.

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To best make use of the facility small projects and pilot experiments that do not require extensive optimisation can be performed by the Facility Manager, and charges for these services should be discussed with the Facility Manager at the time of booking. For larger projects and longer term projects, training and access will be provided so the user can use the facility independently. To limit users there is a maximum of 1 trained facility user per WIMM group and 1 trained user for external groups.

Booking

All bookings are done through Agendo.

Charging for access

Each facility user will be charged quarterly in arrears for their use of the facility. A quote for a particular project and sample number can be provided by the facility manager upon request.

Data Analysis

Single cell genomics generates highly complex datasets, analysis of which is challenging and requires careful planning in advance of running the project to consider appropriate experimental design etc. We would strongly recommend discussion with CBRG prior to initiating a project.

Contact

For more information please contact the Facility Manager Dr. Neil Ashley (Neil.Ashley@imm.ox.ac.uk) or the Facility Scientific Director Prof. Adam Mead (Adam.Mead@imm.ox.ac.uk).