This course type is laboratory

Single Cell Technologies and Analysis

23 - 30 July 2021Wellcome Genome Campus, UK
Deadlines (at 23:59 UTC):
  • Application and bursary deadline 08 April 2021

Learn the latest methodologies and applications for the analysis of nucleic acids from eukaryotic single cells

  • Summary

    PLEASE NOTE: This course was cancelled in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Applications for the 2020 course have been carried over to 2021. The course is now open to new applicants.

    We hope to resume our face-to-face courses in 2021. However, should the status of the pandemic not allow us to do this safely, the course may switch to a virtual format.

    The development of robust protocols sensitive enough to measure nucleic acids from single cells is revolutionising 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 course is taught collaboratively by researchers from the Wellcome Sanger Institute. 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 course will primarily provide intensive hands-on training in small groups on widely applicable plate-based full-length mRNA sequencing (Smart-seq2) and hands-on overview of performing higher throughput 3’ end based protocol (10x chromium/Drop-seq/Seq-well). The participants will also learn analysis of single-cell RNA-sequencing datasets including most widely used tools and methods.

    The course will include demonstration on cell handling, flow cytometry (FACS) microfluidics systems and additional single-cell sequencing technologies.. 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.

    There will be a significant bioinformatics component in the course, as even primarily wet lab based researchers need to understand the key QC metrics for single cell data to evaluate the data and any necessary protocol optimisations.

    The practical programme will be complemented by distinguished guest speakers, who will present the latest research in this fast-moving field, along with opportunities for informal discussions.

  • Programme

    The course will include laboratory and computational practical sessions, along with lectures and discussions, covering the following topics:

    • Preparation and isolation of single cells (including preparation of suspensions, single cell sorting with FACS and brief overview of tissue dissociation methods)
    • Cell counting and quality control
    • Full length single cell mRNA sequencing in 96-well plates (Smart-seq2 protocol)
    • 3’ end single cell mRNA sequencing from thousands of cells (10x genomics) and an overview of Drop-seq and Seq-Well methods
    • Demonstration and overview of multi-omics for single cells (including G&T-seq for DNA/RNA)
    • Automation of single cell protocols
    • Illumina sequencing of single cell libraries
    • Data processing, data handling and QC of single cell data sets
    • Downstream analysis of single-cell data (e.g. differential gene expression analyses and clustering) including widely used methodological concepts and tools for data analysis.


    Learning Outcomes
    After attending this course, participants will able to:

    • Evaluate advanced methodologies for the analysis of nucleic acids from eukaryotic single cells, along with their applications
    • Appreciate different approaches currently in use in the field to address specific research questions
    • Assess the strengths, weaknesses and limitations of different methodologies and approaches, experimental and computational.
    • Integrate and apply the knowledge and training from the course to their own research interests


  • Instructors and speakers

    Course instructors

    Lia Chappell

    Lia Chappell
    Wellcome Sanger Institute, UK

    Lira Mamanova

    Lira Mamanova
    Wellcome Sanger Institute, UK

    Thierry Voet

    Thierry Voet
    Wellcome Sanger Institute, UK

    Kedar Natarajan

    Kedar Natarajan
    University of Southern Denmark

    Tallulah Andrews

    Tallulah Andrews
    Wellcome Sanger Institute

    Guest speakers

    Sarah Teichmann

    Sarah Teichmann
    Wellcome Sanger Institute, UK

    Roser Vento

    Roser Vento
    Wellcome Sanger Institute, UK

    Andrew Adey

    Andrew Adey
    OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, USA

    Omer Bayraktar

    Omer Bayraktar
    Wellcome Sanger Institute, UK

    Raheleh Rahbari

    Raheleh Rahbari
    Wellcome Sanger Institute, UK

  • Cost and bursaries
    Cost Accommodation / meals
    *Course fee £1150 This is a residential course and the fee includes all accommodation and meals.

    *The course fee is subsidised by Wellcome Genome Campus Advanced Courses and Scientific Conferences and applies to non-commercial applicants. Please contact us for the commercial fee.

    Limited bursaries are available (up to 50% reduction on the course fee) and are awarded on merit. If you would like to apply for a bursary, please complete the bursary section of the online application form.

    Where there are many bursary applications, the selection committee may issue smaller amounts.

    Bursaries can be applied for as part of the course application form. Applicants will be notified of a bursary award along with their place on the course, usually within one month of the application deadline. The decision of the selection committee is final.

    Please note that both the applicant and sponsor are required to provide a justification for the bursary as part of the application.

    Additional funding opportunities
    Visit our support page for additional financial support currently available.

    Accommodation services phishing scam – please be vigilant. More information.

  • How to apply

    Applicants should be researchers interested in applying advanced laboratory and computational methodologies for the analysis of nucleic acids from eukaryotic single cells, with a strong emphasis on mammalian systems. It is suitable for PhD students, postdocs and clinician scientists, as well as staff from Core Facilities.

    It is expected that participants have, at a minimum, familiarity with steps involved in analysis of sequencing data and basic knowledge of Linux/Unix as well as the R programming environment. There are numerous online tutorials available for these, including:

    How to Apply
    Please click the Apply button above to begin the online application process. Places are limited and will be awarded on merit. If you have any problems with the online application process, please contact us.

    Please note: Applications must be supported by a recommendation from a scientific or clinical sponsor (e.g. supervisor, line manager or head of department). A request for a supporting statement will be sent to your nominated sponsor automatically during the application process. Applicants must ensure that their sponsor provides this supporting statement by the application deadline. Applications without a supporting statement cannot be considered.

    Travel visas
    Successful applicants will be provided with a support letter for their visa application, if required.

    Please visit the following websites for further information on visiting the UK:

  • Testimonials

    Feedback from the 2019 course:

    “I thoroughly enjoyed this course and it surpassed my expectations. The level of teaching was exceptional and all the instructors were very approachable and keen to answer all my questions.Truly an excellent course, thank you.”

    “All the topics that I was looking for were covered during the course. I think that the organizers did an amazing job to cover all the aspect of Single Cell Technologies including Single Cell transcriptomics, genomics, epigenomics and spatial transcriptomics.”

    “Thank you so much, this was the best course I have attended. I have learnt so much and it has really consolidated my work.”