A Cedars-led study was published in Nature Genetics on the development of an expansive cellular atlas that profiles endometriosis, an understudied condition that currently impacts around 10 percent of all women.
Using a technique called single-cell genomics (or single-cell RNA sequencing), the team was able to “profile the many different cell types contributing to the disease [endometriosis],” said Cedars co-senior author Dr. Kate Lawrenson. The same single-cell technology was used during the pandemic to better understand COVID-19.
Cellular atlases act as “roadmaps” to better understand complex diseases, enabling researchers to develop new drugs and therapeutics. Dr. Lawrenson is optimistic that the study is an important step in the larger battle against endometriosis: “This resource can now be used by researchers all throughout the world to study specific cell types that they specialize in, which will hopefully lead to more efficient and effective diagnosis and treatment for endometriosis patients. It really is a game changer.”
The study also included collaborators from the University of British Columbia and University of Wisconsin–Madison.