The Human Lung Cell Atlas: A High-Resolution Reference Map of the Human Lung in Health and Disease.

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Schiller, Herbert B 
Montoro, Daniel T 
Simon, Lukas M 
Rawlins, Emma L 
Meyer, Kerstin B 

Lung disease accounts for every sixth death globally. Profiling the molecular state of all lung cell types in health and disease is currently revolutionizing the identification of disease mechanisms and will aid the design of novel diagnostic and personalized therapeutic regimens. Recent progress in high-throughput techniques for single-cell genomic and transcriptomic analyses has opened up new possibilities to study individual cells within a tissue, classify these into cell types, and characterize variations in their molecular profiles as a function of genetics, environment, cell-cell interactions, developmental processes, aging, or disease. Integration of these cell state definitions with spatial information allows the in-depth molecular description of cellular neighborhoods and tissue microenvironments, including the tissue resident structural and immune cells, the tissue matrix, and the microbiome. The Human Cell Atlas consortium aims to characterize all cells in the healthy human body and has prioritized lung tissue as one of the flagship projects. Here, we present the rationale, the approach, and the expected impact of a Human Lung Cell Atlas.

Human Cell Atlas, single-cell RNA sequencing, spatial transcriptomics, systems biology
Journal Title
American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology
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American Thoracic Society
Medical Research Council (MR/P009581/1)
Medical Research Council (MR/S035907/1)
Medical Research Council (G0900424)
Supported by the Helmholtz Association and the German Center for Lung Research (DZL) (H.B.S.); the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement 753039 (L.M.S.); U.K. Medical Research Council grant G0900424 (E.L.R.); National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants ES013995, HL071643, and AG049665, and Veterans Administration grant BX000201 and Department of Defense grant PR141319 (G.R.S.B.); NIH grants HL135124 and AI135964 and Department of Defense grant PR141319 (A.V.M.); NIH grants R01HL141852, R01HL127349, UHHL3123886, U01HL122626, and UG3TR002445, and Department of Defence grant PR151124 (N.K.); and the Netherlands Lung Foundation grants and (M.C.N.).