Tissue Mapping Center

Center for Multidimensional Atlas of the Human Heart




The human heart comprises remarkable anatomical, cellular, and functional heterogeneity with distinctly specialized cellular structures that perform essential physiological functions. At present, little is known about heart cells’ molecular signature, spatial distribution and interactions, and function states. Therefore, we propose an in-depth characterization of the heart, which accounts for a large fraction of human disease. We will map molecular and cellular changes in heart tissues over the course of human lifespan using comprehensive, multi-dimensional, single-cell, and imaging technologies. The final product will impact research of the heart in the following manner: 1) Spatially resolved organ atlases will provide a user-friendly, publicly available, searchable database of the most comprehensive multi-omic, single-cell analysis of the heart. Molecular data will be richly annotated with additional clinical and epidemiological data; 2) In addition to the data, the critical computational tools and pipelines developed in this project will be available to the research community. These include methods and pipelines for processing multi-omics and imaging data, inference of cell-specific regulatory and signaling pathways, correlation of mesoscale imaging and molecular imaging features, and database algorithms for the query, exploration, and visualization of highly complex data; 3) Biospecimens collected in this project will be banked and made available to the biomedical research community. This includes freshly frozen specimens, fixed specimens, and tissue sections. The proposed project will broadly impact the entire research community and jumpstart basic-science and medical discoveries based on a sophisticated understanding of the key molecular circuits underlying the development and aging of the heart.

Public health relevance statement

The heart is a vital organ for human health. Our in-depth characterization of this organ will lead to improved understanding of heart diseases and has the potential to greatly change the outcomes landscape of these diseases.

Fast Facts
Project title: Center for Multidimensional Atlas of the Human Heart
Organ specialty: Heart
PI: Kai Tan
Co-PIs: Jeffrey Moffitt, Liming Pei
Project Manager: Danika Makowski
Assay Types: snRNA-ATAC-seq, CODEX, MERFISH, H&E, uCT
Grant number: 1U54HL165442-01
Learn more: Visit the lab website, and follow them on Twitter.