discovAIR: discovering the Cellular Landscape of the Airways and Lung Tissue
Lung diseases, such as COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) and to a lesser extent asthma, are a leading cause of death, with increasing incidence and lack of curative treatments. The development of novel therapeutic treatments is hampered by our incomplete knowledge of the cellular complexity of the lung. To get a better grip on this, we need knowledge about the different types of cells in the lung, what their specific characteristics are and how they communicate with each other in healthy and diseased individuals. To achieve this, discovAIR will create an Atlas of the Human Lung.
This Atlas of the Human Lung will be a 3D reconstruction of lung tissue architecture and contain detailed information on the state of cells under healthy and disease conditions. Tissue from different lung patients and healthy individuals will be used to identify the specific properties of different cell types and how their properties change from a healthy to a diseased state. In addition, a spatial map of these different cell types and states will be generated. Novel computational methods will be developed and used to combine all this information and create the first draft of the human lung cell atlas.
The Human Lung Cell Atlas
The discovAIR results shall be shared with scientists, clinical experts, diagnostic and pharmaceutical industries through an open-access online data visualization and exploration platform. The information in this platform will enable progress in regenerative and precision medicine and identify new candidates for precision diagnostics and curing treatments in lung disease, thereby contributing to healthy ageing and active living in Europe.