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H2020-HCA Cluster Newsletter

December 15, 2021

H2020-HCA Cluster Communication Group Newsletter

Welcome to the first edition of the H2020-HCA Cluster Communication Group's newsletter. The group consists of representatives from the six pilot actions (BRAINTIME, discovAIR, ESPACE, HCA|Organoid, HUGODECA, HUTER) that were funded under the Horizon 2020 call H2020-SC1-2019 to contribute to the Human Cell Atlas (HCA) initiative.

The HCA aims to create comprehensive reference maps of all human cells—the fundamental units of life—as a basis for both understanding human health and diagnosing, monitoring, and treating disease. Each of the pilot actions has been designed to characterize single cells or their nuclear components, their interactions and/or spatial location in tissues from one human organ.

In this newsletter, we have gathered a series of news articles and interviews, listed recent publications by the consortia, and collected information on relevant upcoming events to inform you about the progress of the cluster. We hope you enjoy the read. 

Best wishes,
The H2020-HCA Cluster Communication Group

P.S. Please share this newsletter with your colleagues and networks.


News from the cluster

ESPACE: An interview with Dr Elisabetta Mereu

Dr Elisabetta Mereu is part of ESPACE Work Package 2, Single cell molecular profiling of the healthy human pancreas. She aims to deliver high-quality data that come from pancreas samples, in line with ESPACE goal to profile the gene expression and epigenetic profile of cells in the human pancreas. Learn more about Dr Mereu’s work in ESPACE and what inspired her in her career. Read more »

HCA|Organoid: Introducing some of the faces behind the project. An interview series

HCA|Organoid brings together a diverse team of organoid enthusiasts from different scientific fields. Take a look at our little interview series introducing you to some of the younger researchers in the team, and learn more about their activities, motivations, and what fascinates them about being part of such a large-scale, international research endeavour. Read more »

HUGODECA and HUTER: Interview with Roser Vento-Tormo

Roser Vento-Tormo, group leader at the Wellcome Sanger Institute in the United Kingdom, has applied single-cell technologies to a variety of reproductive tissues. She is currently part of two European research collaborations focused on women’s reproductive health: The Human Uterus Cell Atlas and the Human Gonad Developmental Cell Atlas. Read more »

discovAIR: Successful discovAIR project meeting

On Monday 22 and Tuesday 23 November 2021 we had our first physical discovAIR project meeting since March 2019. Representatives of all project partners including colleagues from outside the project participated in this two-day meeting in Leiden, Netherlands. The meeting was a great success, not only because of the very interesting lectures but also because of the interaction and discussion among the participants during the breaks! Read more »


Sergio Figueiras, Innovation Director of BAHIA SOFTWARE, a partner of the HUTER project, attended MEDICA 2021 trade fair in Dusseldorf, Germany. The first results of the HUTER platform, devoted to managing and integrating complex single cell data, were shared with research organizations and manufacturers as well as distributors of medical equipment during the event. Read more »

ESPACE: Annual Meeting 2021

The ESPACE consortium got together virtually on October 11-12 for the project’s second Annual Meeting. Representatives of all project partners participated in the two-day event to take stock of ESPACE’s progress to date and make plans for the data analysis of the sequencing and imaging results in the remaining nine months of the project. Read more »

HUTER: Industrial Advisory Board conclusions report completed

The Industrial Advisory Board of HUTER was formed as an independent board mandated with the duty to guide HUTER researchers in the development of their research and according to technological prospects and future market opportunities. A report with conclusions of Industrial Advisory Board feedback has been completed. Read more »


HUGODECA: Tissue clearing and 3D imaging course

Institut de la vision, Paris, France | 9-11 March 2022

Please contact Alain Chetodal


discovAIR: Launch of the Human Lung Cell Atlas during ERS Lung Science Conference 2022

Estoril, Portugal | 10-13 March 2022

More information »


HUGODECA: Symposium on Sex differentiation and DSDs

Paris, France | 11-12 May 2022

Please contact Alain Chetodal


HUTER: Scientific Symposium

tbc. Valencia, Spain | May/June 2022

Please contact Eugenia Flores


Recent Publications

  • Avrahami, D., Wang, Y.J., Kaestner, K.H. Single-cell transcriptomics of human islet ontogeny defines the molecular basis of β-cell dedifferentiation in T2D. Mol Metab. 42:101057 (2020). DOI: 10.1016/j.molmet.2020.101057
  • Bock, C., Boutros, M., Camp, J.G. et al. The Organoid Cell Atlas. Nat Biotechnol 39, 13–17 (2021). DOI: 10.1038/s41587-020-00762-x
  • Efremova, M., Vento-Tormo, M., Teichmann, S.A. et al. CellPhoneDB: inferring cell-cell communication from combined expression of multi-subunit ligand-receptor complexes. Nat Protoc 15, 1484–1506 (2020). DOI: 10.1038/s41596-020-0292-x
  • Haniffa, M., Taylor, D., Linnarsson, S. et al. A roadmap for the Human Developmental Cell Atlas. Nature 597, 196–205 (2021). DOI: 10.1038/s41586-021-03620-1
  • Luecken, M.D., Büttner, M., Theis, F.J. et al. Benchmarking atlas-level data integration in single-cell genomics. bioRxiv 2020.05.22.111161. DOI: 10.1101/2020.05.22.111161
  • Madissoon, E., Oliver, A.J. Meyer, K.B. et al. A spatial multi-omics atlas of the human lung reveals a novel immune cell survival niche. bioRxiv 2021.11.26.470108.DOI: 10.1101/2021.11.26.470108
  • Tosti, L., Hang, Y., Conrad, C., et al. Single-Nucleus and In Situ RNA–Sequencing Reveal Cell Topographies in the Human Pancreas. Gastroenterology 160, 4, 975-1434 (2020). DOI: 10.1053/j.gastro.2020.11.010
  • Wang, W., Vilella, F., Alama, P. et al. Single-cell transcriptomic atlas of the human endometrium during the menstrual cycle. Nat Med 26, 1644–1653 (2020). DOI: 10.1038/s41591-020-1040-z
The contents of this publication do not necessarily reflect the position or opinion of the European Commission. The opinions expressed are those of the authors only and should not be considered as representative of the European Commission's official position.

Funding Acknowledgement
The participating projects have received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement numbers 874606, 874656, 874710, 874741, 874769, and 874867.

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