The Human Cell Atlas will impact almost every aspect of biology and medicine, ultimately leading to a richer understanding of life’s most fundamental units and principles.

 

ABOUT HUMAN CELL ATLAS

In London on 13 and 14 October, 2016, a collaborative community of world-leading scientists met and discussed how to build a Human Cell Atlas—a collection of maps that will describe and define the cellular basis of health and disease.

Cells are the most fundamental unit of life, yet we know surprisingly little about them. They vary enormously within the body, and express different sets of genes. Without maps of different cell types and where they are located in the body, we cannot describe all their functions and understand the biological networks that direct their activities.

A complete Human Cell Atlas would give us a unique ID card for each cell type, a three-dimensional map of how cell types work together to form tissues, knowledge of how all body systems are connected, and insights into how changes in the map underlie health and disease. It would allow us to identify which genes associated with disease are active in our bodies and where, and analyze the regulatory mechanisms that govern the production of different cell types.

This has been a key challenge in biology for more than 150 years. New tools such as single-cell genomics have put it within reach. It is an ambitious but achievable goal, and requires an international community of biologists, clinicians, technologists, physicists, computational scientists, software engineers, and mathematicians.

A White Paper, openly available for download, provides an overview of the effort; our framework for the first draft of the atlas; descriptions of the technology and data analysis tools available to build the atlas; an introduction to the Data Coordination Platform that will host the data for researchers worldwide; a deeper look at biological systems we plan to explore and map; and details on the organization and governance of the HCA consortium and its relationships to the public (including ethical considerations regarding organ and tissue donors) and to funding support.

Learn more about the HCA

Find out more about HCA public engagement

 

LATEST NEWS

09 March 2021

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to fund new Ancestry Networks for the Human Cell Atlas

Funding has been announced by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) for new Ancestry Networks for the Human Cell Atlas. Their Request for Applications (RFA) is focused on supporting collaborative teams of researchers to contribute data from tissue samples from ancestrally diverse donors to the HCA.

25 February 2021

SAVE THE DATE, HCA GENERAL MEETING, JUNE 28 - 30, 2021

The next Human Cell Atlas General Meeting will take place virtually, on June 28 – 30th, 2021. Please hold the dates in your calendar.

We intend to schedule main sessions between 9:00am-1:00pm EST each day. We will also record talks and make them available shortly later for viewing on the event platform.

LATEST FROM TWITTER

Tomorrow’s HCA Biological Network Seminar features the Heart and Musculoskeletal Networks. Join us at 10:30-12:00pm EDT. You can register here: https://humancellatlas-org.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_zpjVQGbzTginxAyvTpBB2Q
You can also submit questions beforehand at http://slido.com/hcabionetwork

Have you registered for #HCA2021GM 28-30th June at http://gm2021.humancellatlas.org/ ? If so, don’t forget to upload your picture and fill in your profile on the site, to help facilitate networking.

Remember to register for next week’s HCA Biological Network Seminar, highlighting the Heart and Musculoskeletal Networks. May 13th, 10:30-12:00 pm EDT.
Register at: https://humancellatlas-org.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_zpjVQGbzTginxAyvTpBB2Q

Congratulations to everyone involved in this large team collaboration, creating a single-cell lung atlas of lethal #COVID19. Reported in @nature, this could help understand the biology of long-term complications of COVID19.