Genomics of immune cell populations at single-cell resolution
Our aims and values
Strength through diversity
We’re a diverse lab consisting of clinicians, researchers and students from across the globe.
Advocating team science
We advocate team science within a supportive and collaborative research environment.
Data and analysis code from our publications are publicly available through our website.
Inclusion and innovation
We work hard to create a fun, inclusive training environment for all researchers and students.
The group’s research is part of the Human Cell Atlas initiative, a global collaboration that aims to create a comprehensive reference map of the human body by mapping every cell. The data generated will provide a vital foundation for understanding human health and diagnosing, monitoring and treating disease.
The team focuses on:
- Development Cell Atlas – decoding the development and functional maturation of the human immune system.
- Skin Cell Atlas – unravelling the cellular circuits during homeostasis and inflammatory skin diseases.
- Human Developmental Biology Initiative – lineage analyses of the developing human immune system.
Creating this atlas across the human lifespan will further our understanding of ageing with important applications for stem cell therapy and regenerative medicine. Our Human Cell Atlas studies have showed how haematopoietic stem cells found prenatally are ‘supercharged’ with greater capacity to renew and differentiate into blood cells. Identifying the factors that can make stem cells more potent will improve stem cell therapies for example haematopoietic stem cell transplants, an effective therapy to treat leukaemia and lymphomas.
Our research has also showed that a common childhood tumour affecting the kidney, Wilms’ tumour, was due to aberrant nephron development. This has therapeutic implications as it means we can potentially treat Wilms’ tumour by inducing nephron differentiation instead of chemotherapy and surgery.
To build the Human Cell Atlas requires multi-disciplinary expertise; scientists, clinicians, bioinformaticians, engineers, software developers and computer scientists. This is why researchers with diverse background and expertise work collaboratively in the Haniffa Lab. The Human Cell Atlas data we have generated is free to access by everyone through our browsable webportal.
To find more about the Haniffa Lab at Sanger and Newcastle, please click here.
Cell Atlas Software
At https://developmental.cellatlas.io/ – we provide open access to:
Web app data explorer
For analysis and exploration of single cell RNA sequencing transcriptomics data
Single cell transcriptomics
Visual exploration of the expression of genes at the single-cell resolution
We explore ways of engaging the public and scientific community with our work, to generate understanding and purpose in our research.
Prof Muzlifah Haniffa, FMedSci
Senior Group Leader
Muzlifah is a Senior Group Leader in the Cellular Genetics programme, a Wellcome Senior Research Fellow, and Professor of Dermatology and Immunology at Newcastle University. Her research team pioneers the applications of single-cell genomics technologies to understand tissue homeostasis, immunity and disease pathogenesis. A major research goal is to decode the development and functional maturation of the human immune system.
Previous team members
We seek to explore the vast cellular diversity in the human brain using large-scale spatial transcriptomics, imaging and functional screens.
Connecting human development and disease
Our research sits at the interface of cancer genomics and single cell transcriptomics. Our aim is to unravel the identity and ...
Single cell genomics
John Marioni's group develop computational and statistical tools to exploit high-throughput genomics data to understand the regulation of gene expression ...
Gene expression genomics
We use cutting edge single cell genomics technologies and computational methods to understand genes, proteins and cells in human health and ...
We work with the following groups
Clinical Research Training Fellow (Wellcome Trust 4Ward North), Dermatology Registrar, Haniffa Lab, Newcastle University
Professor Haniffa's PA and Project administrator for Wellcome Strategic Support: Science (WSSS) projects initiated within Newcastle University
Wellcome 4ward North Clinical Research Training Fellow and dermatology trainee, Newcastle University
Wellcome Trust Clinical Career Development Fellow and Honorary Consultant Rheumatologist, Newcastle University
Staff PhD candidate in Bioinformatics and developmental biology, Newcastle University
NIHR Academic Clinical Lecturer in Haematology, Newcastle University
NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow in Dermatology, Newcastle University
Action Medical Research Clinical Fellow in Otolaryngology, Newcastle University