Summit 2013: Training Scholarship Winners

Congratulations to these applicants for winning 1 of 6 scholarship opportunities for ExCyte Training made possible by the Corporate Scholar Sponorships from SoCal Flow, Cytobank, Life Technologies, Phoenix Flow and Spherotech.

Salvador Garcia
California State University San Bernadino / Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, works for Tracy Grikscheit MD Laboratory

My project:  Successful growth of tissue-engineered small intestine (TESI) may someday be a treatment for children with short bowel syndrome (SBS). Present-day limitations of TESI include the volume of tissue generated and the poorly understood mechanism of TESI growth. Currently we are investigating the interaction between amniotic fluid stem cells (AFSC) and intestinal organoid units (OUs; intestinal multicellular aggregates with intestinal stem cells) in the formation of TESI. In preliminary experiments we have observed that AFSCs isolated by magnetic-activated cell sorting via CD117 antibodies have shown some expression of Lgr5 (Lgr5-GFP transgenic mice) an intestinal stem cell marker in their pluripotent state. Furthermore, we have observed that CD117+ cells can integrate within the OUs and sustain there for an indefinite time. It is still unknown if the dual expressing CD117 and Lgr5 cells integrate into the OUs, therefore it will be of great interest to isolate pure populations and examine their interactions.

Aditi Bauskar
University of Southern California, works for M. Elizabeth Fini PhD Laboratory

My project involves isolating side population cells (SPC’s) from the corneal epithelium (eye tissue) of mouse eyes. The SPCs may play an important factor in corneal regeneration and wound healing in eye injury. Our research hypothesis is that the numbers of side population cells in the cornea are different in different mouse strains. To test this idea, I will be isolating total corneal epithelial cells from different strains of mice by dispase and trypsin treatments of isolated cornea.  I will then perform a side population discrimination assay to detect stem cells based on the dye efflux properties of ABC transporter (ATP-Binding Cassette Transporter protein) and count the SPC’s using FACS sorting. These SPCs will represent the stem cell population of the corneal epithelium. The goal is to see whether the stem cell number of the corneal epithelium is affected or is different in different mice strains, and if so, we will further try to link the stains’ genotypes (for example, single nucleotide polymorphism) and the SPC numbers by examining mice over 100 different strains.

Nathaniel Magilnick
City of Hope, works for Mark Boldin PhD Laboratory

My project:  I will be using flow cytometry to analyze the hematopoietic cell lineages in several microRNA knockout mouse models. One project involves the further analysis of the negative regulation of the immune system by a particular microRNA. We will be using flow cytometry to analyze Bone Marrow and Splenocytes to help define the cellular targets of this microRNA and its role in modulating the immune response.

Kaniel Cassady
City of Hope, works for Defu Zeng PhD and Art Riggs PhD Laboratories

My project:  Our lab studies Graft versus Host Disease, a commonly fatal side-effect of Bone Marrow Transplantation.  My project utilizes FACs to assess the effects of pre-conditioning our animal BMT recipients with anti-CD3. This regimen has been shown by our lab to prevent GVHD in our animal model–however, the mechanism is still unclear. Currently, I am investigating the tolerogenic modulation of Host dendritic cells and T-cells–an experiment that relies heavily on flow techniques.

Yaqiong Chen
City of Hope, works for Ravi Bhatia PhD Laboratory

My current project is to study the function of mesenchymal stem cells in the leukemic bone marrow microenvironment. Previous study in our lab has shown that the leukemic bone marrow environment shows altered interaction with normal and leukemic hematopoietic stem cells. Preliminary data has obtained, in which the distribution of specific mesenchymal subpopulations is altered in leukemic BM. I utilize flow cytometry to isolate specific mesenchymal progenitor populations from normal and leukemic marrow, then establish culture assays including 3-dimensional cultures to study their differentiation (by RT-PCR, flow cytometry and immunohistochemical staining), their ability to support hematopoietic stem cells (cell counting and staining with FACS), and their gene expression patterns.

Gregory Cherryholmes
City of Hope, works for Hua Yu PhD Laboratory

My project involves the phenotypic analysis of glioma stem cells, both using external markers (such as CD133) and internal targets that are associated with stem cell phenotype (such as Sox2 and Musashi 1). I am correlating this with phosphoflow for phosphorylated Stat3. In addition, I am looking at chemotherapy efflux via flow cytometry.