Fridolin Gross obtains ANR project

He will lead project CELLTYPE, which aims to clarify the concept of “cell type” in contemporary biology.

About the project:

The project starts from the observation that recent developments, especially genomic single cell experiments, have made the concept of cell type, which has never been clearly defined, problematic. The main aim is thus to clarify the concept. In particular, it posits two hypotheses:

  1. Different, seemingly contradictory definitional criteria can be reconciled by explicating their conceptual relationships, suggesting a monistic notion of cell types as “functional kinds”.
  2. New findings do not lead to a conceptual revision, but to a revision of the factual knowledge about cell types.

The project applies a combination of conceptual and historical analysis as well as an “empirical” approach
in which scientists’ underlying intuitions about cell types are systematically assessed through direct interaction and on the basis of surveys.

The project has a duration of 48 months and includes the employment of a PhD
student, who is to be hired in fall 2024.

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