The SenNet Consortium Working Groups have a wide range of focus, each addressing specific areas of Consortium administration. Each Working Group provides opportunities for members to collaborate with other each other, while allowing them to inform and influence Consortium decisions.


If you would like to join a Working Group, please email the helpdesk.

Charter | SOP

The SenNet Steering Committee was established to provide a governance mechanism for the entire SenNet Consortium. Among other things, this body is charged with articulating, implementing, and navigating the policies that will allow for the efficient collection and dissemination of the data that will be generated by the constituent TMCs (Tissue Mapping Centers) and Technology Development and Application Projects (TDAs).

The co-Chairs are Hemali Phatnani and Laura Niedernhofer. Steering Committee meetings began in December 2021 and have been scheduled for the 3rd Wednesday of each month.

The Benchmarking Working Group ensures consortium-wide research integrity through consistent standards of technologies and assays, as well as computational and analysis methods. This WG is developing best practices and metrics to guarantee consistent, unbiased results from the Consortium’s research sites. 

Projects include: 

  • -Creation and distribution of surveys to all TMCs/TDAs on current benchmarking activities. 
  • -Creation of a Consortium-wide guideline paper for best benchmarking practices.

Accomplishments include:

  • -Identified intrinsic, empirical, and consensus-based benchmarking metrics for evaluation of experimental and computational methods. Findings presented at SenNet Spatial Technologies Workshop. 
  • -Assigned point persons for development of benchmarking metrics for comparative methods.

The Benchmarking WG meets on the second Thursday of each month at 4:00-5:00PM EST. The WG Chair is Vilas Menon and the Project Manager is Jesse Helfer. 

The Data Coordination Working Group is responsible for specifying, formatting, and collecting data in a Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) compliant manner. This WG sets data submission, ingestion, processing, and publication standards.

Projects include:

  • -Ingesting existing datasets from SenNet data providers and maintaining regular office hours to assist with data curation. 
  • -Publishing and visualizing full datasets for Consortium and public consumption. 
  • -Conducting data tours of CODCC PIs to meet with data providers and provide assistance

Accomplishments include:

  • -Identified and managed the first round of Consortium data to be submitted and ingested. 
  • -Alongside HuBMAP HIVE, established the use of CEDAR templates for metadata, the standards for data ingestion by entity type, and data ingestion documentation. 
  • -Established a cloud-based platform for data, metadata, and for the directory structures in which to submit data.

The Data Coordination WG meets every Friday at 1:00-1:30PM EST. The WG Chair is Jonathan Silverstein and the Project Manager is Jesse Helfer. 

The Human Reference Atlas Working Group aims to address cross-consortium needs for unified terminology and ontology references for all facets of senescence biology. 

Projects include:

  • -Developing and annotating 3D reference organs in support of spatial and semantic tissue registration, mapping, and exploration.  
  • -Developing consensus master anatomical structures, cell types, and biomarkers tables as a reference for healthy human adults.

Accomplishments include:

  • -Numerous submissions and publications in reputable journals like Nature Reviews Molecular Cell, Nat Methods, Frontiers in Bioinformatics, Communications Biology, Scientific Data, and Nature Aging. 
  • -Presentations on the use of VR in data exploration, ASCT+B tables, and onboarding new Tissue Mapping Centers (TMCs). 
  • -SenNet-branded Atlas User Interfaces developed: Registration User Interface integrated in May 2023 and Exploration User Interface integrated by Dec. 2023. 
  • -Developed training materials and videos focused on tissue data acquisition, single-cell analysis and mapping techniques, and data ingestion. 

The Human Reference Atlas WG meets on the first Wednesday of each month at 11:00AM-12:00PM EST. The WG Chair is Katie Börner and the Project Manager is Nancy Ruschman. 

The Junior Investigator Working Group promotes engagement of junior investigators in SenNet and provides opportunities to further their scientific and career development. Junior investigators include students, postdoctoral fellows, and early career researchers and faculty.

Projects include:

  • -Leading scientific and career development workshops at biannual SenNet meetings.   
  • -Organizing a quarterly webinar series to allow for discussion between established panelists and junior investigators. Topics include academic writing, effective communication around senescent science, and connecting with mentors. 
  • -Establishing poster sessions for young scientists to share their findings at biannual SenNet meetings.

Accomplishments include:

  • -Collaborated with yICSA (Young Investigators in the International Cell Senescence Association) to hold a joint social event during the SenNet and ICSA meetings in Fall 2023.  
  • -Worked with Christy Carter at NIA, who presented a guide to funding opportunities for young researchers at the Fall 2023 SenNet conference.

The Junior Investigator WG meets bimonthly. The WG Chair is Lexi Rindone and the Faculty Advisor is Birgit Schilling.

The newly formed “Omics & Imaging-Mapping Working Group” combines the strengths of both the Omics Working Group and the Imaging-Mapping Working Group to create a comprehensive and integrated approach towards tissue analysis and technology application in the field of senescence research.

The Omics & Imaging-Mapping Working Group’s mission is to create a standardized list of tissues and technologies tailored to each SenNet research site’s needs. This includes not only generating and providing guidelines for the latest omics technologies to detect novel senescent cell signatures but also establishing protocols for tissue preservation for transfer and setting standards for senescence imaging.

Projects include:

  • -A seminar series to cover spatial omics platforms, computational omics, senescence signature detection, imaging technologies, and methods for cell and nuclear segmentation.
  • -Compiling lists of imaging platforms, methodologies, and tissues pertinent to senescence studies.
  • -Providing guidelines for leveraging cutting-edge single-cell and spatial omics technology.

Accomplishments include:

  • -Collaborations to ensure consistent antibody reagents.
  • -Coordination with CODCC and other working groups to benchmark sub-cellular spatial transcriptome and proteome platforms.
  • -Publication of a significant paper in Nature Aging titled “Spatial mapping of cellular senescence: emerging challenges and opportunities.”
  • -Secured a supplement from the NIH to support benchmarking projects within the SenNet Consortium.

The co-Chairs of this merged working group are Sheng Li and Joao Passos, with Jesse Helfer serving as the Project Manager. Monthly meetings are scheduled for the second Tuesday at 11:00 AM EST, ensuring regular communication and coordinated efforts towards the group’s objectives.

The Outreach Working Group develops outfacing resources to educate the wider public and scientific community on senescence biology. It also details SenNet’s progress to other NIH Consortiums. 

Projects include: 

  • -Consistent website development to best feature the Consortium’s discoveries, ongoing initiatives, and information on meetings, policies, and publications.  
  • -Using visuals to represent various stages of senescence biology to educate the public and stakeholders in it. 
  • -A regular video interview series featuring scientists from across the Consortium to discuss their latest findings, challenges, and hypotheses for the future of SenNet’s work.

Accomplishments include:

  • -Establishing SenNet helpdesk ( to allow for primary contact for Consortium-wide requests for support or information. 
  • -Starting the SenNet Science Talks, a monthly lecture series from members across the Consortium to share their findings and invite discussion and feedback.  
  • -Expanding the SenNet Members Portal, a centralized repository of SenNet-related information and resources.

The Outreach WG meets on the third Thursday of each month at 2:00-3:00PM EST. The WG Chair is Kay Metis and the Project Manager is Joe Bisciotti.

The Policies Working Group develops and promotes policies and guidelines that ensure transparent, fair, collegial, and rigorous scientific conduct toward the goals of the SenNet Consortium.

Policies include:

The Policy WG meets on the second Monday of each month at 3:00-4:00PM EST. The WG Chair is Vidyani Suryadevara. 

The Publications Working Group establishes guidelines on authorship, publication expectations, acknowledgements, peer review, and collaboration with authors both inside and outside of the Consortium.

Projects include:

  • Tracking publications by SenNet authors and citations while simultaneously populating the Consortium’s Google Scholar page.  
  • Building visualizations for co-author citations.   

The Publications WG has not yet started to meet routinely. The WG Co-Chairs are Rong Fan and Paul Robbins. 

The Senescence Biomarkers Working Group curates a list of senescence-associated biomarkers. Topics of discussion include the specificity and sensitivity of individual biomarkers, associated reagents and their compatibility with experimental methods.

Projects include:

  • -Creating an antibody database for senescence research with contributions expected from trainees and Consortium members for the duration of the project. This WG partners with the Organ Mapping Antibody panels to streamline data collection.  
  • -Generating a manuscript on senescence biomarkers and compiling a publicly available biomarkers database  
  • -Hosting regular science talks on using biomarkers for senescent cell identification and characterization.

Accomplishments include:

  • -Developed an interactive visualization of senescence biomarkers which is linked to the biomarkers database, allowing for automatic updates as the database is populated further. 
  • -Contributed significantly to the formation of the Consortium-wide benchmarking project. 
  • -Participation in the recently awarded Biomarker Partnership initiative, which includes components of several other NIH Common Fund consortia.

The Senescence Biomarkers WG meets on the second Wednesday of each month at 2:30-3:30PM EST. The WG Chair is Nicola Neretti and the Project Manager is Jesse Helfer.