Cell Science


Our goal is to replace imagined cartoons of cell structure with data-driven, dynamic representations--changing textbooks from elementary to graduate school.


Our bodies are made up of many different kinds of cells, each of which performs the basic tasks necessary to survive in addition to highly specialized activities, like beating in coordination to pump blood through the heart, forming a barrier to protect the stomach from its own acid, or migrating in a directed way to fend off infection.

Knowing about the parts of cells is a key first step to understanding how cells work. Yet, we still do not understand how these thousands of parts work together to create a cell’s wide range of behaviors. 

The Allen Institute for Cell Science is collecting large-scale image data to capture the organization and dynamic nature of cells in action. Armed with these accurate and meaningful representations of cell structure and behavior, we can create computational models of how cells carry out their roles—and better understand what goes wrong in disease.

Our image data and integrated models of cells will change our understanding of what cells look like and how they behave, replacing textbook cartoon models of cells with data-driven representations of what cells actually look like, in both health and disease.

Allen Cell Explorer

The Allen Cell Explorer is a one-of-a-kind portal that combines large-scale 3D-imaging data, predictive modeling, gene edited cell lines and a growing suite of powerful tools to create a dynamic digital window into the human cell.

Project Overview

Products & Tools

Allen Cell Explorer