LungMAP: The Molecular Atlas of Lung Development Program
The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute is funding an effort to create a molecular atlas of the developing lung (LungMAP) to serve as a research resource and public education tool. The lung is a complex organ with lengthy development time driven by interactive gene networks and dynamic crosstalk among multiple cell types to control and coordinate lineage specification, cell proliferation, differentiation, migration, morphogenesis and injury repair. A better understanding of the processes that regulate lung development, particularly alveologenesis, will have significant impact on survival rates for premature infants born with incomplete lung development and will facilitate lung injury repair and regeneration in adults. A consortium of four research centers, data coordinating center and human tissue repository will provide high-quality molecular data of developing human and mouse lungs. LungMAP includes mouse and human data for cross-correlation of developmental processes across species. LungMAP is generating foundational data and analysis, creating a web portal for presentation of results and public sharing of datasets, establishing a repository of young human lung tissues obtained through organ donor organizations, and developing a comprehensive lung ontology that incorporates the latest findings of the consortium. The LungMAP website (www.lungmap.net) currently contains over 5000 high resolution lung images, transcriptomic, proteomic, and lipidomic data and provides scientific information to stimulate interest in research careers for young audiences. This paper presents a brief description of research conducted by the consortium, database and portal development and upcoming features that will enhance the LungMAP experience for a community of users.