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Human Cell Atlas data coordination: Lessons learnt

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posted on 03.03.2022, 01:15 authored by eRNZ AdmineRNZ Admin, Claire RyeClaire Rye

The Human Cell Atlas is an ambitious project that was started 5 years ago by Sarah Teichmann at the Wellcome Sanger Institute and Aviv Regev at the Broad Institute. It had the aim of creating comprehensive reference maps of all human cells—an estimated 37 trillion—as a basis for both understanding human health and diagnosing, monitoring, and treating disease. Hundreds of labs and thousands of scientists are currently part of this global project and it is both a scientific and an infrastructure challenge.

To bring together the massive data this project is generating, a central public platform for standaising and sharing of data for the HCA community was envisaged, the Data coordination platform. The DCP currently has 20 million cells from over 2000 donors, covering 64 organs in the human body from over 300 labs around the world. And they share a data model, which means they can be integrated, analyzed and used together to build atlases. This talk will give a brief introduction to the HCA for context, but will focus on the lessons learned from building a platform that was envisaged to be “comprehensive, inclusive, organized, accessible and dynamic”, with particular reference to how this may be applicable in a New Zealand context.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Claire Rye, New Zealand Escience Infrastructure (NeSI)
Claire joined the NeSI team as Product Manager for the data services, in December 2021. Claire holds a PhD in organic chemistry and has spent the last 11 years working in the UK in a variety of research settings. Most recently, as a Product Owner for the Ingestion service of the Human Cell Atlas (HCA) Data Coordination Platform, overseeing the development of the software infrastructure that supports data sharing across HCA globally, based at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI).

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