Cytocentric Blog

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Cytocentric Visionaries: Jan Jensen, Trailhead BioSystems 

Part One: Unbiased Cell Science: Don’t Try to Out-Think Nature


Alicia Henn, Chief Scientific Officer, BioSpherix

Dr. Jan Jensen is the E. J. Brandon Endowed Professor in Diabetes Research at the Cleveland Clinic and also CSO of Trailhead BioSystems. Trailhead uses a unique combination of advanced technologies to define optimized combinations of growth factors that will efficiently guide cell differentiation from the embryonic state through specific cell lineage pathways.

Combining a Design of Experiments approach with robotics, mathematical modeling, high throughput gene analysis, and Cytocentric Isolators, Trailhead optimizes cell media 12 factors at a time to achieve step-by-step cell type conversion rates of well over 90%.

Here, Alicia talks with Dr. Jensen about how they had to let go of the past to progress.

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Production of Retinal Progenitor Cells under Full-Time Optimized cGMP Conditions in the Barrier Isolator

 Alicia D. Henn, PhD MBA

Chief Scientific Officer, BioSpherix, Ltd.
A recent paper in Nature’s Scientific Reports from the Budd Tucker’s lab at University of Iowa reported producing xeno-free clinical-grade retinal progenitor cells from iPSC in a barrier isolator with cGMP reagents and conditions. [1] This is very exciting news for the iPSC field.

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Cytocentric Visionaries: Dr. Jim Uniacke, University of Guelph

Cells are Vastly Different Under Physiologic Oxygen than in Room Air

Alicia Henn, PhD MBA, Chief Scientific Officer, BioSpherix

James Uniacke, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Biology at the University of Guelph where his lab studies protein translation machinery.

Here, Alicia talks with Jim about his group’s recent publication in JBC, “Human Cells Cultured under Physiological Oxygen Utilize Two Cap-binding Proteins to Recruit Distinct mRNAs for Translation.” [1]  This interview was edited for length.

Are We Doing Enough to Protect Our People in the Lab?

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(image: Wikipedia)

Mysterious Illnesses

Two documented cases of laboratory-acquired infections (LAI) have made it into the popular media this year alone, one in Europe and one at the CDC. In both of these cases, workers doing routine work with standard procedures somehow became infected with biological materials they handled and nobody knows how.  

We would all like to think that LAI are quite rare, but they still happen, so the risk is still there for all laboratory workers, both in the clinical and the research setting.

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Cytocentric Visionaries: Dr. Heather O’Leary

Part Three: Hypoxia, Metabolism, and Is Room Air “Good Enough” for Stem Cells?

This is final part in a three-part series of blog posts containing excerpts from an interview that Dr. Alicia Henn, Chief Scientific Officer of BioSpherix, conducted with Dr. Heather O’Leary.

In the last post, Dr. O’Leary talked with us about specific technical challenges in working with cells in low oxygen.  Here we talk about terminology for physiologically relevant oxygen studies and whether or not room air is “good enough.”