Giving Compass' Take:

• The Human Development Biology Initiative is bringing together scientists to collaborate on research focused on human development.  

• Human development research is limited because it is exceptionally challenging to access human samples, and there is no universal process for studying these samples. How can donors support more initiatives that help the scientific community gain access to human development research? Why is collaboration critical for scientific research to advance?

• Read more about how philanthropists can support scientific research. 

The Human Developmental Biology Initiative is a £10 million project to provide insights into how humans develop – from one cell to billions of different cells that make up our tissues and organs. Andrew Chisholm and Sheny Chen explain more.

Human developmental biology studies are extremely challenging and have been limited for several reasons. Few labs have access to human embryo and foetal samples, which means the field lacks a critical mass of research. Where samples are accessible, there aren’t any standardised methods to study them.

The Human Developmental Biology Initiative (HDBI) will tackle this head on. A group of more than a dozen labs across the UK will work together to generate data, develop new tools and build a ‘family tree’ of cell divisions during development, starting at fertilisation.

All the data, tools and methods generated will be available to the scientific community for free.

The HDBI will also set up two research hubs, offering training and support to researchers who want to introduce human developmental biology into their research plans.

Read the full article about human development research by Andrew Chisholm and Sheny Chen at Wellcome.