UMN Single Cell Symposium 2023

Thursday, June 22
8:30 AM - 12:30 PM
402 Walter Library

The field of single-cell genomics has progressed rapidly over the last 10 years and has changed the way we ask and answer biological questions. The ability to interrogate individual cells is revealing gene expression dynamics and cellular heterogeneity otherwise masked in bulk analysis. With the profiling of millions of cells in parallel, varied challenges arise in the experimental setup, the ability to limit errors and biases, and the analysis of the vast quantities of data. 

This symposium aims to bring together UMN investigators interested in single-cell methods to discuss key approaches in data analysis and interpretation and the latest developments in single-cell technologies. It will feature in-depth presentations from UMN experts in immunology, the biology of aging, and cancer, as well as a town hall meeting for open conversations on the future of single-cell research at the University.

This event is co-organized by the UMN Genomics Center and the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute. 

Topics to be covered include:

Single-cell genomics in immunology research
Single-cell genomics in the biology of aging research
Single-cell genomics in cancer research
Single-cell informatics
Single-cell technologies

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Agenda and Registration


8:30 AM - Check-in and light refreshments (no breakfast)
9:00 AM - Welcome and intro, Christine Henzler, PhD, MSI Co-Director of Research Informatics
9:10 AM - Mike Farrar, PhD, Department of Laboratory Medicine & Pathology
9:40 AM - Beth Thompson, PhD, Institute on the Biology of Aging and Metabolism
10:10 AM - Kaylee Schwertfeger, PhD, Department of Laboratory Medicine & Pathology
10:40 AM - Coffee break
11:00 AM - Christine Henzler, PhD, MSI Co-Director of Research Informatics
11:20 AM - Kenny Beckman, PhD, UMN Genomics Center Director
11:40 AM - Town Hall meeting led by Kenny Beckman and Christine Henzler
12:30 PM - Adjourn


This event is for UMN researchers. Advanced registration is required for this in-person symposium and there is no cost to attend. 

Register here

Town Hall Meeting

We want to hear from you!

We invite you to join Kenny Beckman, UMGC Director, and Christine Henzler, MSI Co-Director of Research Informatics, for open conversations on the future of single-cell research at the University. This is an opportunity for researchers to give feedback on their single-cell needs and challenges, as well as any suggestions, concerns, and questions for the cores. Researcher input is essential as it will aid the UMGC and MSI in shaping priorities for the coming fiscal year and beyond. 

If you are unable to attend the town hall meeting or would like to remain anonymous, please include your single-cell feedback, concerns, or questions through this Google Form

Submit a comment


Fixed Single Cell/Nuclei RNAseq Methods for Senescence Detection
Elizabeth Thompson, PhD, Research Support Manager, Institute on the Biology of Aging and Metabolism
As part of Laura Niedernhofer’s lab in the Institute of the Biology of Aging and Metabolism (iBAM), we are using spatial transcriptomics, spatial proteomics and single cell/nuclei RNAseq methods to map cellular senescence in human tissues. We are part of a national NIH consortium called SenNet tasked with characterizing senescence and creating a 3D atlas of senescence in liver and adipose tissues. We have compared different fixed sc/snRNAseq methods and techniques in an attempt to maximize our throughput and efficiency with limited and difficult tissue samples. I will discuss the pros and cons of working with fixed sc/snRNAseq methods and our personal experience with 10X and Parse assays.
Macrophage heterogeneity in the tumor microenvironment
Kaylee Schwertfeger, Professor, Department of Lab Medicine and Pathology

The goal of our studies is to define the functional contributions of distinct macrophage subpopulations to breast cancer progression and to develop new approaches to combat their tumor promoting functions. Using single cell analysis techniques combined with genetically modified mouse models, we have identified phenotypes and functions of various resident and infiltrating macrophage subpopulations in normal mammary glands, primary tumors, and metastatic sites. Delineating the specific mechanisms that contribute to macrophage heterogeneity and defining the functional contributions of macrophage subpopulations in the tumor microenvironment are critical for developing therapeutic strategies that effectively target this diverse population of cells in breast cancer.

More abstracts available in early June. 

Location and Parking

The Single Cell Symposium is hosted in 402 Walter Library (117 Pleasant Street Se
Minneapolis, MN 55455) located on the East Bank of the University of Minnesota. Check-in will be on the fourth floor. 

Please enter Walter Library through the front entrance and use the main elevator to get to the 4th floor. 

For parking near Walter Library, we suggest parking in the Church Street, Art Museum, or East River Road garages (parking rates apply).

Additional transportation options:
The Metro Green Line (Light Rail) and select campus buses have stops near Walter Library. A variety of detailed campus maps can help you navigate to Walter Library.

About the Cores

UMN Genomics Center

The University of Minnesota Genomics Center (UMGC) provides genomic technologies and services to researchers and clinicians at the University of Minnesota, and to external academic and industry scientists throughout the United States and internationally. The UMGC acquires state-of-the-art instrumentation and offers an array of services, including next-generation sequencing, expression analysis, genotyping, single-cell and spatial genomics, metagenomics, and related support services such as nucleic acid extraction and quality control.

Minnesota Supercomputing Institute

The Minnesota Supercomputing Institute (MSI) provides advanced research computing infrastructure and expertise to the University of Minnesota research and scholarly community and the State of Minnesota in order to advance and accelerate research and foster innovation and discoveries through advanced computing technologies, scientific computing, and informatics, application development, and services.

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