Tissue Mapping Center

Multiscale, Multimodal Analysis of Skin and Spatial Cell Organization

 

General Electric and University of Pittsburgh

Abstract

Our vision for the Skin Tissue Mapping Center (TMC) is to create a first-of-its-kind, comprehensive, 2D and 3D spatially-resolved multi-omic spatial atlas of normal skin comprising cell types, lipidomics, and transcriptomics. Samples will be prospectively collected from four major body locations, including head and neck, back, abdomen, and extremities across the continuum of skin colors using the more objective Fitzpatrick scale. Many of the original studies on skin cell types are now several decades old and conducted using singleplex IHC or bulk genomic analysis. Although skin atlases exist, they are more focused on disease and tend to lack diversity and variation of skin tone. Likewise, skin aging is a dynamic process in which there has been little advancement in understanding how it varies as a function of skin tone and UV exposure. This novel spatial reference map of skin cell types spanning skin tone and location will provide critical new insights into healthy skin characteristics. Prospective sample collection provides the unique opportunity to build a customized database with more extensive clinical information that could affect skin health. 

Although we will focus on recruitment of an ethnically diverse population, patients will be standardized to the 6-point Fitzpatrick skin color scale, which was originally developed to assess risk of UV damage from phototherapy. Using this scale allows us to take a more objective approach to assessing differences in skin health and effects of UV and aging. This program will be led by GE Research in collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) Department of Dermatology. Pitt’s Department of Dermatology has access to a large patient and volunteer population with diverse backgrounds and processes about 20,000 skin specimens every year. We will leverage this population to collect up to 96 well-curated samples from various anatomically-distinct skin locations (head and neck, back, abdomen, and extremities). Samples from the young, elderly, and from persons of diverse skin colors (as recorded by Fitzpatrick scale types I-VI), will be prospectively collected. GE Research will be responsible for spatial single-cell analysis and integration of lipidomics and spatial transcriptomics into a multi-modal 2D and 3D atlas of skin.

Public health relevance statement

Our vision for the Skin Tissue Mapping Center (TMC) is to create a first-of-its-kind, comprehensive, 2D and 3D spatially-resolved multi-omic spatial atlas of normal skin comprising cell types, lipidomics, and transcriptomics. Prospective sample collection provides the unique opportunity to build a customized database with more extensive clinical information that may affect skin health. This novel spatial reference map of skin cell types spanning skin tone and location will provide critical new insights into healthy skin characteristics.

Fast Facts
Project title: Multiscale, Multimodal Analysis of Skin and Spatial Cell Organization
Organ specialty: Skin
PI: Fiona Ginty
Co-Investigators: Louis D Falo, Arivarasan Karunamurthy
Project Manager: Liz McDonough
Assay Types: H&E, Cell DIVE, MATRICS-A, scRNAseq
Grant number: 1U54AR081775-01


 

Return to Home.