The development of robust protocols sensitive enough to measure nucleic acids from single cells is revolutionizing biology, enabling the interrogation of molecular mechanisms that are not evident from measurements that represent the average of thousands of cells.

Currently, established plate-based protocols (such as Smart-seq2) provide scalable and robust measurements of mRNA. However, technologies in this field are rapidly evolving, and have recently enabled RNA-seq to be conducted on thousands of single cells in parallel (e.g. 3’ end sequencing of mRNA in droplets) and for multiple classes of nucleic acid to be captured from the same cell (e.g. DNA and RNA with G&T-seq).

Reliable statistical methods for analysing these data are also being developed, though it can be difficult for those new to the field to identify the tools most suitable for the analysis of their data.

This exciting new course will be taught collaboratively by researchers from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and staff from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute Single Cell Genomics Core Facility. The programme will provide participants with a broad overview of established and cutting-edge single cell methodologies, practical experience in the relevant molecular biology and laboratory skills, and the computational and statistical skills needed to interpret these large data sets.

The primary focus of the hands-on element of the course will be widely applicable protocols for plate-based full-length mRNA sequencing (Smart-seq2) and a higher throughput 3’ end based protocol (10x chromium/Drop-seq/Seq-well).
Additional technologies will be demonstrated in sessions for small groups. These will be guided by course instructors to maximise the breadth of technologies we are able to demonstrate and discuss within the time frame of the course.

The integration of data analysis within the course will allow participants to critically evaluate both the technical performance and the biological interpretation of single cell data sets that they have generated.

The practical programme will be complemented by seminars from distinguished guest speakers.

Please note new dates (updated 3/4/18): Due to unforeseen circumstances the dates for this course have changed slightly from the 21-29 July dates originally advertised. The course will now run 20-27 July 2018.

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