by chanzuckerberg

GitHub Readme.md

an interactive explorer for single-cell transcriptomics data

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cellxgene (pronounced "cell-by-gene") is an interactive data explorer for single-cell transcriptomics datasets, such as those coming from the Human Cell Atlas. Leveraging modern web development techniques to enable fast visualizations of at least 1 million cells, we hope to enable biologists and computational researchers to explore their data.

Whether you need to visualize one thousand cells or one million, cellxgene helps you gain insight into your single-cell data.

Getting started

The comprehensive guide to cellxgene

The cellxgene documentation is your one-stop-shop for information about cellxgene! You may be particularly interested in:

Quick start

To install cellxgene you need Python 3.6+. We recommend installing cellxgene into a conda or virtual environment.

Install the package.

pip install cellxgene

Launch cellxgene with an example anndata file

cellxgene launch https://cellxgene-example-data.czi.technology/pbmc3k.h5ad

To explore more datasets already formatted for cellxgene, check out the Demo data or see Preparing your data to learn more about formatting your own data for cellxgene.

Finding help

We'd love to hear from you! For questions, suggestions, or accolades, join the #cellxgene-users channel on the CZI Science Slack and say "hi!".

For any errors, report bugs on Github.

Developing with cellxgene


We warmly welcome contributions from the community! Please see our contributing guide and don't hesitate to open an issue or send a pull request to improve cellxgene.

This project adheres to the Contributor Covenant code of conduct. By participating, you are expected to uphold this code. Please report unacceptable behavior to opensource@chanzuckerberg.com.


This project was started with the sole goal of empowering the scientific community to explore and understand their data. As such, we encourage other scientific tool builders in academia or industry to adopt the patterns, tools, and code from this project, and reach out to us with ideas or questions. All code is freely available for reuse under the MIT license.


If you believe you have found a security issue, we would appreciate notification. Please send email to security@chanzuckerberg.com.


Core team

The current core team:

  • Colin Megill, frontend & product design
  • Bruce Martin, software engineer
  • Sidney Bell, computational biologist
  • Lia Prins, designer
  • Severiano Badajoz, software engineer

We would also like to gratefully acknowledge contributions from past core team members:

  • Charlotte Weaver, software engineer


We've been heavily inspired by several other related single-cell visualization projects, including the UCSC Cell Browswer, Cytoscape, Xena, ASAP, Gene Pattern, and many others. We hope to explore collaborations where useful as this community works together on improving interactive visualization for single-cell data.

We were inspired by Mike Bostock and the crossfilter team for the design of our filtering implementation.

We have been working closely with the scanpy team to integrate with their awesome analysis tools. Special thanks to Alex Wolf, Fabian Theis, and the rest of the team for their help during development and for providing an example dataset.

We are eager to explore integrations with other computational backends such as Seurat or Bioconductor