Musculoskeletal Disorders-Stem Cell Based Drug Discovery

A common Neuromics’ theme is harnessing the power of cellsTM. The raw cost of the cells are often the biggest consideration. We encourage our customers to focus on true costs. These include the # of cells (how many times can they be passaged?), culture viability (how long do the cells live) and bioactivity (how closely do cultures mimic in vivo behavior?). I would like to present a presentation and publication confirming our competitive advantage when analyzing true costs.

Setting a higher bar for Neuron-Glial Based Assays!

Dr. Randen Patterson and his team at UC Davis have developed new culturing techniques using our e18 Rat Primary Hippocampal Neurons. They have developed a protocol that allows for culturing of E18 hippocampal neurons at high densities for more than 120 days. These cultured hippocampal neurons are (i) well differentiated with high numbers of synapses, (ii) anchored securely to their substrate, (iii) have high levels of functional connectivity, and (iv) form dense multi-layered cellular networks. We propose that our culture methodology is likely to be effective for multiple neuronal subtypes–particularly those that can be grown in Neurobasal/B27 media. This methodology presents new avenues for long-term functional studies in neurons. This is good news indeed: Todd GK, Boosalis CA, Burzycki AA, Steinman MQ, Hester LD, et al. (2013) Towards Neuronal Organoids: A Method for Long-Term Culturing of High-Density Hippocampal Neurons. PLoS ONE 8(4): e58996. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0058996.

We will continue to raise the bar. Better cultures=lower costs and better outcomes!

March Profile-Dr. Evanna Gleason

Coming soon…evanna_gleasonNow for something completely different…Synaptic Transmission Research.

I am pleased to be featuring Dr. Evanna Gleason.  I selected her because She and her team’s research is a basic component of most areas  Neuroscience Research including pain, neurodegeneration, vision, TBI, SCI, drug addiction, neuro-disorders and more…This base component is how neurons communicate with other cells at synapses. 

She focuses on synaptic transmission in the vertebrate retina. Retinal neurons have distinctive anatomical and physiological properties that suggest they employ unique synaptic mechanisms. The long term objective her research is to understand how retinal synapses are specialized to transmit visual information.

More to come in March!

On Deck-Dr. Steve Stice

We read about the promise of stem cells in the news every day. They could prove to be ”magic bullets” for curing diseases like Alzheimer’s. Parkinson’s, MS and others. Stem Cell Research is also surrounded with controversy as currently cells are often harvested from human embryos and fetuses.I believe top researchers will prove to be the voice of reason in the human stem cell debate as they are the ones best positioned to know the risks, limitations and potential.  

For our August Profile, I am honored to be featuring Dr. Steve Stice. I have had the pleasure of working with Dr. Stice both in his role as Professor and Director of the Regenerative Bioscience Center and Research Alliance Eminent Scholar endowed Chair at the University of Georgia and as Founder and Chief Scientific Officer at Aruna Biomedical.

He has over 16 years of research and development experience in biotechnology and is a co-founder of five biotechnology companies.  He was named one of the 100 Most Influential Georgians by Georgia Trend magazine.  He produced the first cloned rabbit in 1987 and the first cloned transgenic calves in 1998 (George and Charlie).  In 1997 his group produced the first genetically modified embryonic stem cell derived pigs and cattle.  This research led to publications in Science and Nature journals, national news coverage (CBS, NBC, ABC and CNN) and the first US patents on cloning animals and cattle embryonic stem cells.  In 2001, Dr. Stice announced the first cloned animal (calf) from an animal that was dead for 48 hours.  In 2005, his stem cell group published the first work on deriving motor neurons from stem cells.  Motor neurons are damaged lost during the progression of several diseases such as ALS and spinal muscular atrophy.  Throughout his career he has published and lectured on cloning and stem cell technologies.  Prior to joining the University of Georgia, Dr. Stice was a co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer at Advanced Cell Technology, a company developing cloning and stem cell technology.

Here is What is  Currently Hot in the Stice Lab:
New neural stem cells technology developed in my lab was transferred to a commercial entity, Aruna biomedical. This is the first commercialized product derived from human embryonic stem cell using federally approved stem cell lines.

  • We have produced neurons that have neural functions
  • We are working with the Navy to use our neural cells as biosensors for environmental toxins 
  • We have vascular stem cells that have characteristics that may make them suitable for  transplantation
  • We collaborate with a new company call Aruna BioMedical  that will stem cells for neural research and drug discovery
  • Developed a method to test new compounds for Alzheimer’s disease using our neural stem cell
  • We are one of five NIH stem cell training centers and have taught Scientists from Georgia to Bombay India new stem cell techniques
  • In Georgia, we produced over 50 cloned calves and 100 cloned pigs.
  • We were also the first to produce a clone from an animal that had been dead for 48 hours. This opens new opportunities in agriculture and preserving endangered species.