ASCA Workshop: Historical Background

ASCA Workshop: Historical Background

Single cell analysis is a key to understanding cellular processes and mechanisms of diseases. Single cell techniques allow analyzing molecular features of tissues and organs such as gene mutations, expression, methylation, etc. with the resolution at each single cell.  In the future, the development of this priority field of biomedicine would improve the efficiency of personalized therapy for various diseases and reduce their medical and social burden.

Evgeny DenisovHead of Laboratory of Cancer Progression Biology, Cancer Research Institute, Tomsk NRMC, Head of Single Cell Biology Laboratory, RUDN University.

The history of the workshop begins in 2019. The idea of holding this event belongs to Evgeny Denisov, Head of Laboratory of Cancer Progression Biology (Cancer Research Institute, Tomsk NRMC) and his colleagues.


The workshop mission was – and remains to this day – to promote single cell analysis in biology and medicine by integrating wet lab practices, hands-on bioinformatics, and sharing experience in a roundtable discussion.

The workshop rules: free participation (no registration fee), competitive selection of the participants, and opportunity to analyze samples provided by the participants.


The workshop program:

  • Wet lab practices and master-classes with real projects, samples, and reagents

  • Hands-on bioinformatics with lectures and practices

  • Round table


In 2019, the 1st Workshop «Single Cell Sequencing» (SCS2019) was held in the Cancer Research Institute (Tomsk NRMC) and was supported by Russian Science Foundation, 10x Genomics and SkyGen. The number of participants and speakers did not exceed 20 people, and only one wet lab practice on Chromium 3’ single cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) together with hands-on bioinformatics was organized; however, it became clear that such an event is absolutely necessary.


In 2020, due to the COVID-19, the 2nd Workshop «Single Cell Sequencing» (SCS2020) was held online and included three wet lab practices on Chromium 3’, BD Rhapsody and Qiagen FX scRNA-seq and hands-on bioinformatics.


In 2021, the organizing committee of the 3rd Workshop «Single Cell Sequencing» (SCS2021) received more than 170 applications from Russia, USA and CIS countries. The workshop included wet lab practices on sample preparation, Mission Bio Tapestri scDNA-seq, Chromium 3’, BD Rhapsody and Qiagen FX scRNA-seq and hands-on bioinformatics.


In 2022, the workshop has been renamed focusing on single cell analysis in general and included wet lab practices on sample preparation, Visium spatial transcriptomics, DNA Display single cell cytogenomics Chromium 3’, BD Rhapsody and Qiagen FX scRNA-seq, master-classes on CRISPR/Cas9 and MGI sequencing, and hands-on bioinformatics. The participants of SCA2022 had a chance to see new scientific equipment, which was first presented in Russia: the BeamCyte-1026 Flow Cytometry system, the Genolab M NGS platform and the DSC-400 Single Cell Suspension Dissociator.


Herein, an Association for Single Cell Analysis (ASCA) has been announced and established - a global community of professionals, who use different methods of single cell analysis.

The ASCA mission is "The increase in educational level and scientific communication in the field of single cell analysis in order to accelerate investigations of biological objects and to understand mechanisms of disease development".

Now, ASCA unites more than 150 researchers from 24 countries.

The ASCA website is available at


In 2023, the workshop has been organized by ASCA and included four wet lab practices on sample preparation, Chromium 5’ scRNA-seq, Visium spatial transcriptomics, GeoMx spatial transcriptomics and three master-classes on digital PCR using Chinese and Korean instruments, which were first presented in Russia. The novelty of ASCA 2023 Workshop was also the organization of 4 days of hands-on bioinformatics including 2 days each of basic and advanced analysis and the demonstration of new technology of scRNA-seq provided by SeekGene Company.


The next ASCA Workshop will be on 20-22 November 2023 in Moscow and will include a 3-day program focusing on wet lab practices: sample preparation, SeekOne scRNA-seq library preparation, and Genolab M sequencing.

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