Date: Thursday, 7th April
Venue: Level 5, Kenneth Myer Building, UoM
ABSTRACT: The drug discovery and development process relies on data generated from experiments that employ in vitro cultured human cells and in vivo animal models. The high rate of attrition among clinical-stage therapies, often driven by unanticipated safety or efficacy outcomes, underscores the need for in vitro models that better recapitulate in vivo human biology. Organovo has developed the NovoGen Bioprinter™ platform, which employs computer-based design and automated, spatially controlled deposition to fabricate 3D in vitro tissues composed entirely of human cells to mimic native human tissue architecture and function. Using this platform, rapid fabrication of stable, cell-dense, human tissue is possible within common multi-well plate formats. This approach allows for the biochemical, genetic, and histologic interrogation of the tissue following exposure to known or developmental therapeutics to assess their propensity to induce tissue pathology. The flexibility of the bioprinter platform allows incorporation of any cell type of interest to the researcher, thus enabling the end user to probe the contribution of specific cell types to any toxicology endpoint. Here we will explore how the challenges in predictive toxicology are being addressed, using examples from our own technology pipeline.
BIOGRAPHY: Dr. Chen is currently Associate Director R&D, Tissue Applications at Organovo in San Diego, CA. Dr. Chen received her PhD in Biology, with an emphasis on Developmental Biology from Johns Hopkins University, in association with the Carnegie Institution of Washington, Department of Embryology in 2005, where she studied the role of WNT signaling in mammalian myogenesis. Dr. Chen then went on to a postdoctoral fellowship at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute from 2005-2009, where her work focused on methodologies to improve the efficiency of human embryonic stem (ES) cell derivation, directed differentiation of ES cells toward the pancreatic lineage, as well as cellular reprogramming by somatic cell nuclear transfer. Dr. Chen has since held positions at Stemgent and BioTime, developing research tools and services for stem cell research, with a focus on reprogramming by induced pluripotency, stem cell expansion and maintenance, and cell fate manipulation via messenger RNAs. She joined Organovo in 2015 to lead development of in vitro human tissue models in liver and kidney for toxicology research and disease modeling.