Combining single-cell profiling with organoid technology, the HCA|Organoid project will establish an open access “Organoid Cell Atlas” within the global Human Cell Atlas (HCA) initiative.


Single-cell analyses provide a fundamentally new perspective for understanding biology, with profound potential to drive therapeutic advances and accelerate precision and regenerative medicine.

In order to streamline research endeavours worldwide, the Human Cell Atlas (HCA) provides global coordination and serves as a comprehensive reference map of the types and properties of all human cells and cell types.

Within the HCA, HCA|Organoid will foster the inclusion of a “Organoid Cell Atlas” to firmly establish organoid technology within the HCA as a booster of future disease-centric and translational research.


Organoids are tiny, three-dimensional tissue cultures that recapitulate organ development. They can be derived from stem cells – cells that can indefinitely differentiate into various cell types. Resembling miniature versions of potentially any organ or tissue in our body, organoids help us to better understand the complex, three-dimensional microanatomy of an organ.

Using organoids has tremendous potential for biomedical applications, since they enable us to assess, intervene and manipulate processes in human organ systems that are otherwise difficult or impossible to conduct in human beings. For instance, we are able to assess the changes that take place in our cells in disease and better screen and predict how these cells might respond to drugs.

Setting up the first version of an atlas of organoid cells, HCA|Organoid will significantly enhance our understanding of the molecular basis of our cells, ultimately resulting in a deeper understanding of the mechanisms underlying human health and disease.


Establish comprehensive single‐cell maps of organoids, including (but not limited to) brain-derived and colon-derived organoids

Create a multi‐tissue organoid platform that will maximise insight and impact of the HCA

Demonstrate the value of the multi‐tissue organoid platform for disease‐centric research through proof-of-concept studies

“We are excited to pursue a large-scale, international effort to combine single-cell profiling with organoid technology – two areas that are not only among the ‘hottest’ fields of biomedical research, but also uniquely suited to synergize with each other.”

Christoph Bock
Coordinator of the HCA|Organoid project
CeMM Research Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian
Academy of Sciences, Austria



Jan 2020 – Mar 2022


EUR 5 million