Cell cultures and cell lines are widely used in life science experiments. In conjunction with the 2018 International Conference on Biomedical Ontology (ICBO-2018), the 2nd International Workshop on Cells in ExperimentaL Life Science (CELLS-2018) focused on two themes of knowledge representation, for newly-discovered cell types and for cells in disease states. This workshop included five oral presentations and a general discussion session. Two new ontologies, including the Cancer Cell Ontology (CCL) and the Ontology for Stem Cell Investigations (OSCI), were reported in the workshop. In another representation, the Cell Line Ontology (CLO) framework was applied and extended to represent cell line cells used in China and their Chinese representation. Other presentations included a report on the application of ontologies to cross-compare cell types and marker patterns used in flow cytometry studies, and a presentation on new experimental findings about novel cell types based on single cell RNA sequencing assay and their corresponding ontological representation. The general discussion session focused on the ontology design patterns in representing newly-discovered cell types and cells in disease states.