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Professor Alison Simmons, the Director of the Oxford University MRC Human Immunology Unit (MRC HIU), together with Dr Hashem Koohy, group leader at Radcliffe Department of Medicine and the MRC HIU, have been awarded a Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Paediatric Networks for the Human Cell Atlas grant.

Alison Simmons on left  , Hashem Koohy on right

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) has announced $33 million in grants to support collaborative groups of researchers and paediatricians to better understand, prevent, and treat childhood diseases.

These 17 groups of researchers represent 15 different countries, and will contribute healthy paediatric single-cell reference data to the global Human Cell Atlas as a foundational resource for providing insight into the cellular origins of disease onset in children.

Professor Simmons project aims to develop an open access spatiotemporal atlas of childhood intestinal development, with the team building a single-cell atlas of the paediatric intestine. This will help researchers and clinicians understand how the human intestine matures in childhood, as well as adult intestinal diseases.

Professor Simmons team, in collaboration with Dr Koohy’s group, has previously provided open access atlases of the human colon in health and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and a resource documenting how the human foetal intestine develops. These resources highlighted an urgent need to undertake studies to better understand how a healthy immune system develops in symbiosis with the intestinal microbiota, and provide a framework to understand both neonatal, childhood, and adult intestinal diseases.

Read the full story on the MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine

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