Dynamic molecular changes during the first week of human life follow a robust developmental trajectory

Amy H. Lee, Casey P. Shannon, Nelly Amenyogbe, Tue B. Bennike, Joann Diray-Arce, Olubukola T. Idoko, Erin E. Gill, Rym Ben-Othman, William S. Pomat, Simon D. van Haren, Kim Anh Lê Cao, Momoudou Cox, Alansana Darboe, Reza Falsafi, Davide Ferrari, Daniel J. Harbeson, Daniel He, Cai Bing, Samuel J. Hinshaw, Jorjoh NdureJainaba Njie-Jobe, Matthew A. Pettengill, Peter C. Richmond, Rebecca Ford, Gerard Saleu, Geraldine Masiria, John Paul Matlam, Wendy Kirarock, Elishia Roberts, Mehrnoush Malek, Guzmán Sanchez-Schmitz, Amrit Singh, Asimenia Angelidou, Kinga K. Smolen, The EPIC Consortium, Ryan R. Brinkman, Al Ozonoff, Robert E.W. Hancock, Anita H.J. van den Biggelaar, Hanno Steen, Scott J. Tebbutt, Beate Kampmann, Ofer Levy, Tobias R. Kollmann*

*Corresponding author

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)
19 Downloads (Pure)


Systems biology can unravel complex biology but has not been extensively applied to human newborns, a group highly vulnerable to a wide range of diseases. We optimized methods to extract transcriptomic, proteomic, metabolomic, cytokine/chemokine, and single cell immune phenotyping data from <1 ml of blood, a volume readily obtained from newborns. Indexing to baseline and applying innovative integrative computational methods reveals dramatic changes along a remarkably stable developmental trajectory over the first week of life. This is most evident in changes of interferon and complement pathways, as well as neutrophil-associated signaling. Validated across two independent cohorts of newborns from West Africa and Australasia, a robust and common trajectory emerges, suggesting a purposeful rather than random developmental path. Systems biology and innovative data integration can provide fresh insights into the molecular ontogeny of the first week of life, a dynamic developmental phase that is key for health and disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1092
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 12 Mar 2019


  • Chemokines/blood
  • Child Development/physiology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cytokines/blood
  • Gambia
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Humans
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Infant, Newborn/blood
  • Metabolomics
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Proteomics
  • Systems Biology

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  • Activities

    • 2 Conference presentations

    Ontogeny of the plasma proteome across the first week of human life

    Tue Bjerg Bennike (Lecturer)

    18 Oct 2019

    Activity: Talks and presentationsConference presentations

    Cite this

    Lee, A. H., Shannon, C. P., Amenyogbe, N., Bennike, T. B., Diray-Arce, J., Idoko, O. T., Gill, E. E., Ben-Othman, R., Pomat, W. S., van Haren, S. D., Cao, K. A. L., Cox, M., Darboe, A., Falsafi, R., Ferrari, D., Harbeson, D. J., He, D., Bing, C., Hinshaw, S. J., ... Kollmann, T. R. (2019). Dynamic molecular changes during the first week of human life follow a robust developmental trajectory. Nature Communications, 10(1), [1092]. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-08794-x