We have assembled collaborators from around the globe including many from major pediatric institutions including the Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH), Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center (CCHMC), Beatrix Children’s Hospital, Children’s National Medical Center, and The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). Pediatric working group members will be able to share and leverage existing pediatric resources and contribute samples to the Human Cell Atlas.
Pilot studies in the Atlas will provide normal reference tissues and cells for studies on the origins of diseases affecting children; reveal physiological differences in tissues between adults and children; provide insight into growth and development of human tissues across ages that may also provide a perspective into organ regeneration; and provide insight into the basic biology of growth, development and maturation.
Another goal of the Atlas is to understand healthy development. Traditional medicine tends to address a disease when it manifests. We do not know if adult diseases like diabetes, obesity, and cancer have cellular clues early in life. We also do not have a clear understanding of how the environment influences developing tissues and cells. Contrasting children’s cells and tissues across ages through to adulthood will provide insight into how cells differ in children prone to adult diseases, and to better understand those diseases that manifest at a young age. Using data from pilot studies, researchers will be able to find common aspects of healthy development across a number of different tissues.