Development study reveals origins of inflammatory bowel disease
A development study, led by one of Newcastle BRC’s theme leads, has produced publications outlining the origins of several diseases.
The papers, published in Nature, are the work of the Human Cell Atlas consortium; a group of scientific experts from across the globe, including Professor Muzlifah Haniffa, Skin and Oral Disease theme lead for the Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre (BRC).
Through mapping cells in the human gut from early development, they revealed that Chron’s disease may be caused by activation of developmental pathways. The detailed maps will help explain how the gut forms and functions, and will transform research into intestinal diseases.
The second publication reveals the hugely ambitious plan to create an entire Human Developmental Cell Atlas (HDCA) of all cells that are important for healthy human development. The gut is just one example of the importance of this, and researchers from the Human Cell Atlas Developmental Biological Network and their collaborators worldwide, show how they will chart developing tissues comprehensively in space and time.
Professor Muzlifah Haniffa comments:
The Human Developmental Cell Atlas will provide a vital resource to understand many aspects of biology and disease in order to improve human health.
Our roadmap shows the progress we’ve achieved so far, including creating a gut development atlas, how we plan to overcome challenges to achieve a complete atlas of human development, and how this will be used to understand disease.
Professor Muzlifah Haniffa and the Newcastle BRC
At the NIHR Newcastle BRC, Professor Haniffa leads the Skin and Oral Disease Theme, in which we seek to uncover the biological mechanisms behind inflammatory skin and oral conditions, particularly those that worsen with age.
Muzlifah Haniffa is Professor of Dermatology and Immunology at Newcastle University, a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow in Clinical Science, and a Lister Institute Prize Fellow. She is also part of the Human Cell Atlas; a project that aims to map every cell type in the human body, in order to transform our understanding of biology and disease.
Rasa Elmentaite et al., (2021) Cells of the human intestinal tract mapped across space and time. Nature. DOI 10.1038/s41586-021-03852-1
Muzlifah Haniffa et al., (2021) A roadmap for the Human Developmental Cell Atlas. Nature. DOI 10.1038/s41586-021-03620-1
News story adapted with thanks, from Newcastle University Press Office and The Wellcome Sanger Institute.