Cytocentric Blog

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Cytocentric Visionaries: Shannon Mumenthaler, University of Southern California

Part Two: Oxygen, Cell Morphology, and Time

In Part One of this two-part interview, we talked with Dr. Shannon Mumenthaler about her latest study published in Nature’s Open Access Journal, Scientific Reports [1] 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.


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Cytocentric Visionaries: Shannon Mumenthaler, University of Southern California

Part One: Context is Everything, for Cells and for Scientists

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 [1] 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.


hypoxia cell growth biospherix lab

Lonza's CytoSMART Lab for Cell Growth under Hypoxia

Full-time Control of Conditions during Cell Handling Enhances the Expansion of Human MSC for Stem Cell Therapies


Research Interest

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.


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Cytocentric Visionaries: Hal Broxmeyer, Indiana University

How the Shock of Room Air Oxygen Reduces Stem Cell Yields

Alicia Henn, PhD MBA, Chief Scientific Officer, BioSpherix

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 article are 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.


Why the Lasker Awards are So Important This Year;

It’s All About the Oxygen

The Lasker Awards were won this year by a trio of incredibly important figures in physiologic oxygen research; William Kaelin, Peter Ratcliffe, and Gregg Semenza.


What did they do?

These three researchers, along with others, have traced the molecular mechanisms that connect changes in oxygen levels to cellular responses.

 Gregg Semenza, along with his post-doc, Guang Wang, first reported the structure of a protein that was regulated by oxygen levels [1]. They called it Hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1). It had two subunits, alpha and beta. The beta subunit was expressed all the time, but the alpha subunit changed in levels when oxygen levels changed.