The differences between individual cells can have profound functional consequences, in both unicellular and multicellular organisms. Each cell occupies a specific position in its environment and presents dynamic variations in DNA features that produce considerable variability in the expression of its genome.  Today, the major challenge is to be able to accurately study the functioning of the genome of each cell taken from its heterogeneous tissue environment, or from a liquid biopsy, in order to better understand the control mechanisms of complex traits in humans, animals, plants and microorganisms: this is one of the ambitions of microgenomics.

Many microfluidic (low- or high-throughput) and spatial (microdissection, hybridization or smFISH, …) technologies now enable to perform omics analyses at the single-cell level from complex tissues. Technological developments in post-sorting analysis capabilities are opening the way for investigations in all disciplines of experimental and clinical biology, thanks to the advent of new high-throughput genetic, epigenetic and gene expression analysis methods, including RNAseq and proteomics, now globally known as microgenomics, i.e., the analysis of biomolecules at the cellular level.

Despite the progress these methods are rapidly developing, the pre-analytical workflow, from sampling to single-cell isolation, remains a critical step that requires a careful standardization to maintain the integrity of the native sample. This workshop will provide an overview of technologies (microfluidic or spatial) enabling microgenomics analysis from solid tissues or liquid biopsies to give participants an insight into the principles, weaknesses, and strengths of each approach and to highlight the relevance of the pre-analytical steps as a prerequisite for reliable results.

Workshop Preliminary Agenda

  • Introduction on Spatial Biology - Claudia Bevilacqua, INRAE, @BRIDGe Core Facilities, France
  • Single cell Analysis: an overview - Pamela Pinzani, University of Florence, Italy
  • Laser Microdissection: advantages and challenges for single cell applications - Lance Liotta, College of Science, George Mason University, USA
  • Targeted Spatial Molecular profiling for Precision Medicine. Molecular and Spatial Profiling of Individual cells - Targeted Biosciences
  • Explore new dimensions through spatial context - Vizgen (Spatial Transcriptomics)
  • Single Molecule FISH - speaker to be confirmed
  • Single cell RNAseq - Letizia De Chiara, University of Florence, Italy
  • Single Cell 3.0: From Bench to Insight - Parse Bioscences (Single-cell)
  • From multitude to singularity: An up-to-date overview of scRNA-seq data generation and analysis - Roberto Semeraro, University of Florence, Italy
  • Final Questions & Answers and Discussion