Yan Xu, PhD.

Yan Xu, PhD

Researchers who want to better understand lung development have a new, free resource at their fingertips: LungGENS (Lung Gene Expression iN Single-cell).

LungGENS is a web-based tool that maps single-cell gene expression. Yan Xu, PhD, Division of Biomedical Informatics at Cincinnati Children’s, and her team developed the tool to help researchers access and visualize complex single-cell transcriptomic data. A report of their achievement was recently published in the journal Thorax.

Scientists can search the tool by gene or cell type. If a researcher enters a gene symbol or a list of genes, the tool provides quantitative RNA expression of the gene of interest in each lung cell type. A cell type query returns associated gene signatures and genes encoding cell surface markers as well as transcription factors in interactive heatmap and tables.

Xu and her colleagues hope that greater understanding of individual lung cell types and the ways they interact to form the lung may lead to better treatments in such areas as respiratory distress syndrome in premature infants.

LungGENS is freely available for non-commercial use at: