The Human Protein Atlas (HPA) is a Swedish-based SciLifeLab research community programme initiated in 2003 with the aim to map all the human proteins in cells, tissues and organs. HPA uses an integration of various analytical platforms, including antibody-based imaging and systems biology.
Proteins are the building blocks of human life, and they are targets for almost all pharmaceuticals and vaccines. In addition, they are important for precision medicine, when choosing the best treatment for individual patients. The HPA programme aims to create a knowledge resource that covers all proteins involved in human biology.
All data in the knowledge resource is available via open access from www.proteinatlas.org to allow scientists, both in academia and industry, to freely explore the human proteome. The portal consists of several parts, each focusing on a particular aspect of human proteins. It contains more than 20 million web pages, including more than 10 million microscopy images, and the HPA has already contributed to several thousands of publications in the field of human biology and disease.
The HPA has been selected by the organisation ELIXIR as a European core resource due to its fundamental importance for a wider life science community. The HPA consortium is mainly funded by the non-profit Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.
The HPA consortium has also published 18 astonishing movies that explore the human body by using a novel technology for 3D-imaging based on light sheet microscopy. The open access movies are based on the use of antibodies to stain various proteins in tissues, and the platform allows exploration of the spatial distribution of these proteins in the different parts of the human body.
Various parts of the human body are visualised, including videos describing the molecular consequences of neurological diseases. All movies have been created by Dr Csaba Adori, Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, in collaboration with FaktaBruket, Stockholm, Sweden. The movie about pancreas shows the protein insulin in the Langerhans islands (green) and the network of nerves (red).