By Yeo Joo Guan (Team Lead), Martin Wasser, Pavanish Kumar, Poh Su Li, Yeo Kee Thai
There is a critical unmet need for standardised datasets depicting at single cell level and with high dimensionality in the entire healthy human immune system. The advent of high-dimensional mass cytometry, in contrast to conventional oligo-dimensional approach with fluorescence-based flow cytometry, has provided the tool to create a holistic depiction of the immune system. However, the power available from these big data sets has not been yet fully harnessed due to the absence of clinically relevant and standardised datasets that can be effectively interrogated. Other hindrances are data fragmentation as well as the focus on individual cell subsets or ages which limits the ability to interrogate holistically with the Immunome and the entire developmental gradient from neonatal to adult age. Collectively, these limitations hamper mechanistic, translational and clinical research.
To address these issues, EPIC (https://epicimmuneatlas.org), a free web-based immune atlas platform, has been created. EPIC contains a high dimensional mass cytometry-based healthy human Immunome database spanning from cord blood to adult ages with the characterisation of 63 non-redundant phenotypical and functional immune markers at the single cell level. Concurrently, to enable this dataset to be used effectively as a reference atlas, we have built an analysis and visualisation pipeline to allow its dynamic interrogation in many dimensions and made this entire database and framework available to the research community.
EPIC Immune Landscape: A depiction of the developing healthy immune system