About Project Achilles


The goal of Project Achilles is to create a catalog of gene essentiality in hundreds of cell lines. To accomplish such goal, we use lentiviral-based pooled shRNA and CRISPR/Cas9 libraries in genome-wide pooled screening. This allows for the stable suppression of each gene individually in a subset of cells within a pooled format allowing for a cost-effective genome scale interrogation of gene essentiality. Rigorous quality controls, including multiple cell line fingerprinting steps, and monitoring of cell / reagent representation throughout the screening process are performed to ensure the quality of the data. The protocols are highly standardized to ensure that the data can be compared across cell lines.

Current datasets

Project Achilles is an ongoing effort aiming at screening >1000 cell lines of a variety of lineages, including cell lines derived from both solid and hematopoietic tumors of pediatric and adult lineages. We currently have data for 501 cell lines screened with an RNAi library (Ach 2.20.2) and 33 cell lines screened with GeCKO CRISPR-Cas9 library (Ach 3.3.8) (https://portals.broadinstitute.org/achilles/datasets/all). Additional data is being generated and will be released on an ongoing basis.

Achilles 2.20.2 (RNAi dataset)


Achilles 3.3.8 (CRISPR dataset)


Project team

Project Achilles is a collaboration between the Broad’s Cancer Program, the Hahh lab at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Broad’s GPP (Genetic Perturbation Platform).

Lead Scientists
Dave Root

Data Science
Aviad Tsherniak

Target Discovery and Advancement
Francisca Vazquez

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