Research Topic

Single Cell Analysis: Advancing Vascular Biology

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About this Research Topic

This is a Research Topic initiated by NAVBO, the North American Vascular Biology Organization.

Recent advances in analyzing tissues and organs at the single cell (SC) level are revolutionizing our understanding of organ development, biology, and ...

This is a Research Topic initiated by NAVBO, the North American Vascular Biology Organization.

Recent advances in analyzing tissues and organs at the single cell (SC) level are revolutionizing our understanding of organ development, biology, and disease. Previously, the genetic composition or transcriptional profiles of cells was based on sequencing DNA or RNA from a large number of cells, but this approach loses information on the heterogeneity of individual cells. Sequencing DNA and RNA from individual cells preserves heterogeneity, and technological advances have made these techniques highly accessible. They are now utilized in a significant percentage of biological studies to report finding such as more precise quantifications of cell composition, the discovery of previously unknown or rare cell subtypes, and highly detailed descriptions of cell fate trajectories. SC DNA sequencing is providing information on the mutational state of somatic and malignant cells. Rapid advances in SC epigenomics and proteomics are likely to bring these techniques into common use in the near future. It is an exciting time since SC analysis is addressing long-standing biological questions across many tissues and organs.

A recent analysis - available here - of the SC extramural research funded by the NIH, either through NIH-initiated programs focused on SC or initiated by extramural investigators, revealed the paucity of such analyses related to vascular cells compared to a variety of other cells and tissues. This Research Topic is seeking to galvanize interest in SC applications related to the field of vascular cell biology, both by highlighting emerging research in this area and by providing methodologic bases and insights from SC research in other tissues and organs. Here, we aim to highlight original research related to SC analyses of vascular related cells, under normal or diseased conditions. We seek to understand the specific challenges associated with studying vascular cells, and how advances in SC approaches could benefit vascular fields. We are also welcoming state of the art reviews comparing and illustrating various SC analytical and computational methods, and articles describing new technologies, especially those that may hold promise for the vascular field.


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