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sector_ico_Health_trans Human Health

From multi-omics integration to computational modelling for high resolution human biology

  • Project Leaders: Peter Zandstra, Fabio Rossi
  • Institutions: University of British Columbia (UBC)
  • Budget: $250000
  • Program/Competition: Sector Innovation Program
  • Genome Centre(s): Genome British Columbia
  • Fiscal Year: 2020
  • Status: Active

T-cells are the main cell type involved in immunity, with roles ranging from killing cancer to eliminating infection agents such as viruses. When engineered appropriately, they have tremendous potential for application, exemplified by anti-cancer CAR-T therapy. Unfortunately, engineering primary T-cells is an inefficient process, as only small batches can be produced which will drastically increase cost. This problem can be solved by manufacturing large batches of T-cells from pluripotent cells. However, T-cell development is very complex and not enough is known yet to be robustly recapitulated in vitro.  

This project proposes to deploy and link multiple ‘omics approaches to take a snapshot of T-cell development at single cell resolution. Specifically, as T-cell development is highly dependent on the ability of the cells to migrate through specific regions of the thymus, the project team will integrate single cell ‘omics datasets with deep imaging datasets preserving positional information. These data will then be used to create a computational model of T-cell development, which will inform the strategies for generating T-cells in vitro. In addition, the methods established during this project will be made available to the general community via established, already successful core facilities.