Oz Single Cells 18: on the cutting edge of single cell genomics

Single cell scientists from across Australia gathered at Garvan for the second conference of the Australian Cellular Panomics Consortium (ACPC) to discuss, share and learn about the latest innovations in single cell research and technology.

At right, the Head of the Garvan-Weizmann Centre for Cellular Genomics, Associate Professor Joseph Powell, with keynote speaker Associate Professor Samantha Morris and Garvan-Weizmann's Rob Salomon.

Media Release: 20 July 2018

Garvan has been honoured to host Oz Single Cells 18, the second conference of the Australian Cellular Panomics Consortium, bringing together single cell scientists from across the nation to share their skills and experience in biology, technology, computational sciences and bioinformatics.

The conference, which took place this week (July 16-18) was spearheaded by Associate Professor Joseph Powell, newly appointed Head of the Garvan-Weizmann Centre for Cellular Genomics. For A/Prof Powell, a disease genomics expert, this event highlights some of the most cutting edge single cell research and serves as a catalyst for advancing the progress of biomedical research.

A/Prof Powell said “It was a pleasure to welcome so many single cell researchers to Garvan for the second Oz Single Cells conference. The meeting captured the excitement of this burgeoning field, and presentations highlighted the amazing progress that is being rapidly made in both discovery and translational research. “

Along with A/Prof Powell, the event was made possible by the organising efforts of Dr David Gallego-Ortega (Garvan), Associate Professor Alicia Oshlack (Murdoch Children’s Research Institute), Dr Shalin Naik (Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research), Rob Salomon (Garvan), Professor Christine Wells (University of Melbourne), Professor Ryan Lister (Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research), Professor Jean Yang (The University of Sydney), and Associate Professor Fabio Luciani (UNSW).

The packed presentation schedule featured leaders in the fields of computational, technical and biological research with a mix of national and international speakers. Presentation topics ran the gamut of single cell research from cell development, new bioinformatics and data visualization methods to clustering algorithms and clinical applications of single cell profiling methodology through genomic sequencing, epigenomics, and proteomics, with a particular focus on cancer, immunology and a special presentation on the genetic nervous system disorder known as Rett syndrome.

Most notably, keynote speakers included Associate Professor Samantha Morris (Washington University) who opened the first session, Professor Hanlee Ji (Stanford University; on sabbatical at Garvan), Dr Davis McCarthy (European Bioinformatics Institute, Cambridge) and Associate Professor Evan Newell (Singapore Immunology Network).

A/Prof Morris had kind words to share about the conference on Twitter (@morris_lab).

“So many innovative technical and analytical approaches are being showcased,” she wrote.“#ozsinglecell18 was such a fantastic meeting. The single-cell biology in Australia is stellar, and the community is exemplary. Some serious progress is being made on complex bio problems. What an incredible few days in Sydney @ozsinglecells, thank you!”

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The conference concluded with a half day of workshops organised by the Garvan-Weizmann Centre for Cellular Genomics, introducing participants to the latest single cell technologies, including cell sorting (FACS), single cell transcriptomics, single cell multi-omics analysis, microfluidics and informatics. 

The next event, OzSingleCell19, is set to take place in Melbourne next year.

To read more about the conference as it happened, look for the #OzSingleCell18 hashtag on Twitter.