The HDBR Atlas is a unique resource which aims to facilitate the understanding of the development of the human embryo and fetus.

The atlas began as the Electronic Atlas of the Developing Human Brain (EADHB), which was funded by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) Human Brain Project (grant numbers: HD39928-02 followed by R01 MH070370).

The long-term aim of this work was to create a digital atlas comprising 3D reconstructions from Carnegie Stage 12 to 23, generated using Optical Projection Tomography (OPT; Sharpe et al 2002), and annotations of the 3D models linked to an anatomical database.

The digital atlas was also linked to a gene expression database that was developed from the Edinburgh Mouse Atlas Project gene expression database (EMAGE). Again, the major funder was NIH, as above, with additional funding from EU FP6 (DGEMap, contract number 011993).

With the agreement of the funders, both the digital atlas and the gene expression database were brought together on the HuDSeN website and became the HuDSeN Electronic Atlas of the Developing Human and HuDSeN Human Gene Expression Spatial Database.

Currently the MRC/Wellcome Trust-funded HDBR project is supporting the atlas and gene expression database, and the name has been changed to the HDBR Atlas to reflect this.

In the future, the HDBR Atlas aims to provide the wider scientific, educational and medical communities with a dynamic tool for documenting and analyzing gene expression patterns and morphological changes during human embryonic and fetal development.