Site director with a fascination for patterns

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Cecilia Lindskog, site director of the Tissue Atlas

Time has come for the second interview with a researcher within the Human Protein Atlas project. Today we meet Cecilia Lindskog, site director of the Tissue Atlas.

– I have a Master of Science in Biomedicine and a Doctor of Philosophy in pathology from the Faculty of Medicine, Uppsala University. I joined the Human Protein Atlas project in 2006, and also have industry experience in the biotechnology industry, from Oncomark Ltd, Dublin, Ireland.

Cecilia Lindskog´s main research interests have always been understanding the biology and functions of different organs, and the underlying mechanisms leading to cancer and other diseases.

– Ever since my first contact with a microscope I have been really fascinated by histology and the amazing patterns observed by the cells in the human body. The Human Protein Atlas projects combines all these interests, and already in the early stage of the project when I joined more than 10 years ago, I found the visions of the project both impressive and challenging, and immediately felt I wanted to be part of the team creating this important and unique database.

The Tissue Atlas team, that Cecilia Lindskog heads, creates a world unique atlas of spatial proteomics, with the aim to show the localization of all human proteins in a large set of healthy human tissues.

– More than 20,000 antibodies have been used for immunohistochemistry on tissue microarrays, and the public database contains more than 13 million images offering a unique possibility for researchers to determine the exact distribution of proteins on a single cell level, Cecilia Lindskog explains. The analysis is combined with RNA-seq from most of the organs, allowing for a quantitative assessment.

The Tissue Atlas recently launched a new display view, allowing for comparison between protein expression profiles and RNA-seq data generated from different sources.

– We are currently putting a large effort into antibody validation and stringent evaluation of staining patterns in comparison with RNA-seq data and literature, in order to generate a best estimate of histological distribution and relative expression level of each protein, Cecilia Lindskog says.

Another focus of the group that Cecilia Lindskog is heading is extended analysis of proteins not detected in any of the previously investigated tissues, and in-depth profiling is performed on more specialized tissues, including fetal organs, retina and more regions of the brain.

So, look out for exciting updates of the Human Protein Atlas in the future!

Cecilia Lindskog is also the first author of the recent publication on Aquaporin 9 expression in human tissue that we highlighted in last week´s blog post.

Learn more about the human tissue specific proteome here >>