Genomics Lite: Genomic cartography - Generating a human cell atlas

Our guest speakers for our March Genomics Lite were Dr. Elena Winheim and Feri Torabi, Postdoctoral Researcher and a Advanced Research Assistant respectively, at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, exploring how they are working towards generating a map of all the cells in the human body.

In this Genomics Lite session, Elena and Feri spoke about how they working on creating an atlas of the cells in the human body, helping us to understand cell development, treat different diseases, as well as preventative medicine. They also provided an example by looking at how this is being done with skin cells.

About our speakers:

Dr. Elena Winheim, Postdoctoral Researcher, Wellcome Sanger Institute

Elena is a Postdoctoral Researcher in the laboratory of Prof Muzz Haniffa at the Wellcome Sanger Institute. With a primary focus on developmental and systems immunology, she employs single-cell technologies and computational tools to investigate immune cell development and function within the human skin. Her work contributes valuable data to the Human Cell Atlas, a monumental effort in mapping all cell types in the human body. Prior to her role at the Sanger Institute, Elena earned her PhD in immunology from Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, Germany. During her doctoral research she studied antiviral immune responses to both the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the yellow fever vaccine virus.

Feri Torabi, Advanced Research Assistant, Wellcome Sanger Institute

Feri is an Advanced Research Assistant in the Cellular Genetics programme at the Wellcome Sanger Institute. Working in Professor Haniffa’s Lab, Feri actively contributes to the global Human Cell Atlas initiative by generating genomics data from human tissues. Her particular focus involves utilizing this valuable information to explore the potential of stem cells, aiming to craft in vitro 3D organoid models that closely mimic human tissue features. One notable project involves Feri’s development and characterization of hair-bearing skin organoids derived from stem cells. Feri holds a BSc degree in Medical Genetics and has acquired experience in the fields of stem cell biology, epigenetics, immunology and population genetics.

Watch part two of our Genomics Lite: Genomic cartography series here to find our more about stem cells.