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About the Brain Single Cell Initiative

The Brain Single Cell Initiative is dedicated to making state-of-the-art single-cell and spatial genomics technology available to brain researchers through the Princess Margaret Genomics Centre (PMGC) core lab in Toronto, ON. Single-cell and spatial genomics measure vast quantities of molecular information from individual cells in complex cellular mixtures, like tissues, in a single experiment. This initiative will bring new and emerging technologies such as single-cell RNA and multi-omics assays, spatial transcriptomics, and high-content cell screening to brain researchers, along with scientific and bioinformatics support.


Our vision is to engage Canadian brain researchers to understand major scientific questions such as how disease develops or how the brain repairs itself. By collaborating through this initiative, researchers will gain new insights for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of brain diseases. We are also developing the data infrastructure to disseminate and integrate these data in a user-friendly way.

Two scientists are staring at a computer monitor.
A female scientist in a lab coat and gloves analyzing data on a touchscreen monitor in a laboratory.


We are developing new experimental and computational aspects of single-cell genomics technologies to catalyze research in many areas of brain health and disease. By centralizing technology development in a core facility, we have the capacity to address scientific challenges, refine techniques, and make improvements quickly available to the research community. Areas for brain-related technology development include:

  1. Understanding brain development to identify cell type of origin for pediatric brain cancer
  2. Studying diverse brain diseases and disease models
  3. Identifying therapeutic targets using single-cell genomics data


Our team brings together the laboratory expertise of the PMGC led by Drs. Trevor Pugh (Scientific Director) and Troy Ketela (Head of Operations) and a community of computational biologists coordinated by Dr. Gary Bader (University of Toronto). Jennifer Law is the Brain Single Cell Initiative Project Manager.

Photo of Dr. Trevor Pugh

Dr. Trevor Pugh

Photo of Dr. Troy Ketela

Dr. Troy Ketela

Photo of Dr. Gary Bader

Dr. Gary Bader

Photo of Jennifer Law

Jennifer Law

Join the Initiative!

Benefits of joining the initiative


Our services are open to any researcher in Canada on a cost-recovery basis and may include preferred rates for eligible brain projects. Please contact Dr. Ketela to discuss your research and technical needs.

Please contact Jennifer Law to subscribe to our mailing list or for any other questions about how you can get involved in the Brain Single Cell Initiative.