A new retina atlas of gene expressions will allow for powerful user-led analysis
New database integrates 30+ retinal datasets across three species


Rockville, Md.A new online database will allow researchers to look up gene expression by retina cell type across loads of different studies, three organisms, and multiple developmental stages. PLatform for Analysis of scEiad (PLAE) will premiere at the virtual 2021 Annual Meeting of The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO).

First author David McGaughey, PhD, of the National Eye Institute (NEI) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) created an exhaustively optimized single cell retina single cell transcriptome dataset created from all publicly available retina single cell transcriptomes resulting in nearly 1 million single cell transcriptomes across three species, 30 studies, and seven single cell technologies. This dataset then provided the basis for a highly responsive reactive web application for querying gene expression across retina cell type, study, species, developmental stage, and other factors. The research team then demonstrated how research groups can project their private single cell experiments onto their reference retina single cell atlas with minimal compute resources.

“Researchers, both on the clinical and basic sides, can query gene expression across hundreds of thousands of labelled cells across human, mouse, and macaque in a very fast web app,” says McGaughey. “I'm very grateful for the [ARVO] organizers to give me this opportunity to share this work.”

  • Abstract title: Million Cell Retina Transcriptome Meta-Atlas for All
  • Presentation start/end time: Thursday, May 6, 2021, 11:15am – 1pm ET
  • Presentation number: 3535589


The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) is the largest eye and vision research organization in the world. Members include approximately 10,000 eye and vision researchers from over 75 countries. ARVO advances research worldwide into understanding the visual system and preventing, treating and curing its disorders. Learn more at

Media contact:

Erin Hering