Predicting Cellular Responses to Novel Drug Perturbations at a Single-Cell Resolution

Model Overview


Single-cell transcriptomics enabled the study of cellular heterogeneity in response to perturbations at the resolution of individual cells. However, scaling high-throughput screens (HTSs) to measure cellular responses for many drugs remains a challenge due to technical limitations and, more importantly, the cost of such multiplexed experiments. Thus, transferring information from routinely performed bulk RNA-seq HTS is required to enrich single-cell data meaningfully. We introduce a new encoder-decoder architecture to study the perturbational effects of unseen drugs. We combine the model with a transfer learning scheme and demonstrate how training on existing bulk RNA-seq HTS datasets can improve generalisation performance. Better generalisation reduces the need for extensive and costly screens at single-cell resolution. We envision that our proposed method will facilitate more efficient experiment designs through its ability to generate in-silico hypotheses, ultimately accelerating targeted drug discovery.

In Neural Information Processing Systems 2022 Conference
Leon Hetzel
Leon Hetzel
PhD Student in Machine Learning and Computational Biology

My research interests include generative modelling, single-cell genomics, and drug discovery.