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Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Awards $400K in Funding for Asian Immune Cell Atlas Project

NEW YORK — The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) has awarded $398,731 in funding to a team of researchers developing an atlas of immune cell types found across a range of Asian population groups, Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology, and Research (A*STAR) said on Monday.

The so-called Asian Immune Diversity Atlas (AIDA) aims to define immune cell types and states in individuals of five major Asian populations – Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indian, and Malay — as well as characterize immune cell variations associated with ethnicity, environment, age, sex, and body mass index in these groups.

Led by scientists from A*STAR's Genome Institute of Singapore, Japanese research institute RIKEN, and Samsung Medical Centre, the project will also develop novel algorithms that integrate data generated at multiple sites to comprehensively define the properties of each cell type in human blood, A*STAR said.

AIDA is part of the international Human Cell Atlas project (HCA), which was launched in 2016 to create a reference atlas of all human cell types. CZI has provided funding to a number of groups participating in the HCA including $4 million last year to a University of California, Irvine-led team building a map of breast cells.