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Researchers awarded nearly $5 million to map cells of colon

Stanford scientists will map the cells of the human colon as part of a larger effort funded by the National Institutes of Health to create an atlas of all the cells in human tissues.

Scientists at the School of Medicine will launch a center to map the mosaic of cells that comprise the human colon.

Michael Snyder, PhD, professor and chair of genetics, and Garry Nolan, PhD, professor of microbiology and immunology, will lead the Stanford Tissue Mapping Center, which is being funded by $4.9 million from the National Institutes of Health.

In addition to mapping the types of cells that make up colon tissue, the center aims to reveal the spatial organization of the cells, with the intention of providing insights into how cell types and their locations contribute to the function of the colon. Through the center, the scientists also aim to understand and treat many intestinal and colorectal diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis and colon cancer.

The research will contribute to the Human Biomolecular Atlas Program, a larger effort supported by the NIH to map the entire human body at the level of individual cells.

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