In its first phase, the KCO pursued three major goals:
Develop and deploy experimental and computational approaches for systematically defining cellular circuits. These included capabilities — in the KCO and across the Broad’s platforms — for measuring all cellular components and their connections, reconstructing circuit models, and producing and delivering perturbing agents to cells. It also included sophisticated computational methods to infer the types, states, dynamic transitions, and internal circuits of cells, including from large-scale perturbations.
Execute Cell Observatory Projects, to reconstruct circuits in mammalian cells. These projects fell into three categories:
Flagship Projects to construct the full circuitry of key cell types, such as those of T-helper cells, the retina, and other tissues.
Collaborative Projects to tackle only specific parts of the circuitry, learning how to overcome key challenges and address key questions.
KCO-Leveraged Projects, which used our capacity and expertise in the context of various projects. These projects were often initiated through a small, short-term collaboration to advance a particular technique, and were expanded, if appropriate, to a larger project.
All of these projects were undertaken in collaboration with scientists in the Broad community, drawing on their deep expertise in a biological system.
A summary of KCO achievements 2012-2017 can be found here.