A team led by investigators at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian has used advanced technology and analytics to map, at single-cell resolution, the cellular landscape of diseased lung tissue in severe COVID-19 and other infectious lung diseases.
In the study, published online March 29 in Nature, the researchers imaged autopsied lung tissue in a way that simultaneously highlighted dozens of molecular markers on cells. Analyzing these data using novel analytical tools revealed new insights into the causes of damage in these lung illnesses and a rich data resource for further research.
“COVID-19 is a complex disease, and we still don’t understand exactly what it does to a lot of organs, but with this study we were able to develop a much clearer understanding of its effects on the lungs,” said co-senior author Dr. Olivier Elemento, professor of physiology and biophysics, director of the Caryl and Israel Englander Institute for Precision Medicine, associate director of the HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud Institute for Computational Biomedicine at Weill Cornell Medicine and co-Director of the WorldQuant Initiative for Quantitative Prediction, which funded the technology for single cell analysis of tissue. “I think the technological approach we used here is going to become standard for studying such diseases.”