Tomsk is holding the first Russian single cell sequencing school

5 June 2019

The first international scientific school in Russia dedicated to a new research approach, the sequencing of single cells, is taking place in Tomsk. This method offers great opportunities to study the features of cancer development and the causes of tumor resistance to therapy. The school is attended by 20 young Russian scientists selected on a competitive basis, and lectures and practical classes are being conducted by experts from Russia, the USA, and Germany.

The event was organized by Tomsk State University, Tomsk National Research Medical Center (NRMC), and ITMO University. The school is sponsored by the Russian Science Foundation and has technical support from SkyGen.

- Sequencing of single cells is a trend in modern biology and medicine,- says Evgeny Denisov, one of the event organizers, a senior researcher at Tomsk NRMC and a TSU associate professor. - This method includes the analysis of the genome, epigenome, and transcriptome of single cells. It helps us to study the molecular portrait of each cell separately in the composition of the body’s complex tissues, because it is necessary to understand how the various processes occurring within one cell are interconnected with each other and how variable gene expression in a cell is. In addition, sequencing of single cells opens up possibilities for the identification of previously unknown cellular processes.

This new area has been developing rapidly in the last five years. Russia has not yet had any schools dedicated to this. The very format of the event, combining the experimental part, the bioinformatics block, and the roundtable with the reports of the participants is unique not only for the Russian Federation but also in the world.

At the beginning of the school, young researchers from Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Irkutsk, Novosibirsk, Tomsk, and Saransk will listen to lectures by leading scientists in cell sorting, the biology of circulating tumor cells (CSC), and preparation of single-cell libraries and their sequencing.

Pavel Morozov from Rockefeller University (New York, USA), Konstantin Okonechnikov from the German Cancer Research Center (Heidelberg, Germany), Alexey Sergushichev and Konstantin Zaytsev from ITMO University (Saint Petersburg, Russia), Sofia Kasatskaya from the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow, Russia), and scientists from Tomsk NRMC and Tomsk State University will lecture.

During practical training, young scientists will be able to see the 10x Genomics instrument, designed to prepare single cells for sequencing and located at the Oncology Research Institute of Tomsk NRMC. The sequencing itself will be performed on the NextSeq500 platform, located at TSU the Laboratory of Translational Cellular and Molecular Biomedicine. The data obtained in the sequencing will demonstrate modern methods of bioinformatic analysis.

On June 5, there will be a roundtable with reports on the results of individual research obtained during practical exercises.

On June 6 and 7, there will be lectures and workshops on bioinformatic analysis of single-cell sequencing data.