ADA Science and Research Institute, External Collaborators Awarded $3.5M Grant to Map Cells in Pediatric Respiratory Tissues

ADA Science and Research Institute


The American Dental Association Science & Research Institute, together with other U.S. and international collaborators, has been awarded a three-year, $3.5 million grant to map cells in pediatric respiratory tissues of the nose, mouth, and airways from birth through adolescence.

This funding is part of a $33 million announcement from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, founded in 2015 by Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg, to support researchers and pediatricians as they seek to better understand, prevent and treat childhood diseases. The research funded by these grants will generate healthy, single-cell reference data from pediatric tissue samples for the Human Cell Atlas, an international consortium that aims to map every cell type in the human body.
“From a healthy newborn’s first breath onward, our airways — including the lungs, throat, nose and mouth — develop in harmony to support essential functions and protect us from many types of damage,” said Kevin Byrd, D.D.S., Ph.D., manager of oral and craniofacial research at the ADA Science & Research Institute and one of the principal investigators. “This newly assembled team of partners across the globe will work collaboratively to understand the common and unique cell types and their signatures that support the development of the airways in healthy children from Malawi, Vietnam, India, Germany, Brazil and the U.S. This atlas of the ‘inhalation interface’ will be curated and open to the entire scientific and clinical community to accelerate our understanding of disease progression and guide therapeutic strategies in children.”