Human Vascular Endothelial Cell Atlas in the Young and Old
Researchers worldwide are working together to create a common reference map of all human cells that will allow us to better understand and treat disease: the Human Cell Atlas (HCA). The HCA is already making an impact — for example, researchers used initial cell atlas data from the nose and airway to identify cells that may be entry points for SARS-CoV2. Scientists have also used reference data from many organ systems to begin to clarify the complex pathology associated with COVID-19. Yet to be truly useful as a reference atlas for the human body, the HCA must be broadly representative of race, ethnicity, ancestry, and other determinants of health. A disease like COVID-19 highlights this: many understudied communities and populations are heavily impacted, and due to a myriad of factors, are more likely to contract the disease and experience more severe symptoms and outcomes.
Professor Sheng Zhong is part of the collaborative effort from researchers worldwide working to create a common reference map of all human cells that will allow us to better understand and treat disease: the Human Cell Atlas (HCA). This network is contributing to an endothelial cell atlas in space and time by mapping the transcriptomes of endothelial cells from several tissues from donors of different ages and developing cutting-edge computational tools. To expand the racial diversity of this atlas, the project will include samples from Black and Latinx donors, which will help to clarify how cardiovascular disease manifests differently among various populations. This Network was awarded the CZI Seed Networks Incentive to Support Diversity for the Human Cell Atlas.