A new publication in Stem Cell Research & Therapy (open access) from Alan Wells’ group at University of Pittsburgh has some highly relevant findings for Mesenchymal stem/stromal cell (MSC) culture optimization. MSC are an incredibly valuable cell type for both industrial and research scale cell-based therapeutics. The Wells group reported that in their investigations of the relationships between MSC starvation, autophagy, and differentiation, they stumbled upon a strikingly high glucose consumption rate in comparison with other cell types.1
In Part One of this two-part interview, we talked with Dr. Shannon Mumenthaler about her latest studypublished in Nature’s Open Access Journal, Scientific Reports  and her unique combination of high throughput image analysis, heterogeneous cell culture, and full-time control of conditions. Today we talk about adding new dimensions into highly dimensional cell parameter space, including cell shape and time.
Dr. Shannon Mumenthaler is an Assistant Professor of Research Medicine and Lab Director of the Lawrence J. Ellison Institute for Transformative Medicine of USC. She works closely with a multidisciplinary team, including mathematicians for data analysis. Her group’s latest study published in Nature’s Scientific Reports  describes a unique technological combination of high-throughput cell imaging with physiologically relevant oxygen levels in a cytocentric barrier isolator.
In Part One of this two-part interview, we talk with Dr. Mumenthaler about her approach for acquiring a better understanding of the complex drug responses of tumors in their natural environment.
BioSpherix's scientific laboratory explores Cytocentric™ environments, in vitro spaces designed so that cells are protected from room air at all times, even during cell handling. A controlled environment is essential for good science, yet the conventional open room laboratory provides highly unstable and non-physiologic conditions for cells.
Dr. Hal Broxmeyer is a Distinguished Professor, Professor of Microbiology/Immunology and Co-Leader of the Program on Hematopoiesis, Malignant Hematology, and Immunology at Indiana University Simon Cancer Center. He has chalked up well over 1,000 scientific publications and his work has been seminal to the field of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. His group’s 2015 paper in Cell and the subsequent review articleare landmark papers that demonstrate how room air oxygen exposure during cell isolation inflicts damage on freshly isolated stem cells.
Here, we talk with Dr. Broxmeyer about his work. This interview was conducted by email and edited for length.