Research Grant Program

Research_GrantACEA’s xCELLigence Research Grant is aimed at helping early career scientists achieve their research goals by providing them free access to RTCA technology. This grant provides the winning scientist an xCELLigence RTCA DP instrument, consumables, and consultation for up to 6 months. ACEA is currently accepting xCELLigence Research Grant applications according to the schedule listed in the table below.

All entries must be received before the stated deadline in order to be considered.

Funding Period
Submissions Must Be Received By
Winner Announcement
January-June 2018
December 1, 2017
January 1, 2018
July-December 2018
May 1, 2018
June 1, 2018

To apply, please download the grant application form and send your complete application to Please mark the email subject line with “Application: ACEA’s xCELLigence RESEARCH GRANT 2017”.

2017 Grant Recipient

Dr. Karen Wright received the xCELLigence Research Grant to study the role of the CB1 cannabinoid receptor in regulating intercellular tight junctions and permeability in intestinal epithelial cells during inflammation. Though the impact of oxygen concentration on metabolic activity and gene expression profiles has been well established, few cell-based assays attempt to model physiological O2. Working within an enclosed workstation that maintains physiological oxygen concentration, Wright will use the xCELLigence system to monitor both early CB1 receptor signaling events and their long term functional outcome.

2016 Grant Recipient
Dr. Laetitia Aerts at the Free University of Brussels in Belgium

Christian Owusu, 2015 ACEA Grant RecipientDr. Laetitia Aerts awarded grant for investigating the impact of interleukin-22 on mycobacterium tuberculosis growth inside macrophages.

“We are thrilled to support this young research scientist in her endeavor to better understand this devastating infectious disease,” noted Yama Abassi, Ph.D., Vice President of ACEA Biosciences. “ACEA is committed to working closely with scientists throughout the world to help accelerate research towards eradicating diseases like TB.”

2015 Grant Recipient
Christian Owusu, Ph.D. candidate at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the University of Cambridge

Christian Owusu, 2015 ACEA Grant RecipientChristian Owusu is awarded for his grant proposal for monitoring parasitic worm motility with xCELLigence RTCA technology.

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to address fundamental questions in the pathology of schistosomiasis using real-time cell analysis,” he said upon receipt of the award.  “The RTCA iCELLigence system will enable me to simultaneously assess the impact of schistosomiasis infection on host immune cells, as well as investigate the impact of immune cell metabolites and cytokines on parasite viability.”

2014 Grant Recipient
Jonathan Chen, Ph.D. candidate at Yale University, USA

Jonathan-Chen, 2014 ACEA Grant RecipientJonathan Chen is awarded for his proposal in combining Single Cell Analysis and Real-Time Cell Analysis (RTCA) technique to understand the mechanism of cancer cell drug resistance.

“I am extremely excited”, Jonathan stated upon receiving the award, “The iCELLigence system will allow me to further interrogate cancer cell proliferation, metabolic function, cell-cell interactions, and how the tumor microenvironment is affected by molecular perturbations and influences therapeutic response in patients.”

Jonathan Chen is a PhD candidate in Department of Biomedical Engineering at Yale University and currently holds a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. Chen’s research projects in Professor Rong Fan’s laboratory involve the investigation of molecular correlates of cancer cell drug resistance using a suit of single cell analysis tools. His aims are to work closely at the interface of biology and engineering to analyze the complex cellular heterogeneity in tumor microenvironments and utilize this understanding towards the direction of personalized medicine.

2013 Grant Recipient
Melissa L.Fishel,Ph.D.,Assistant Research Professor at Indiana University,USA.

Melissa-L-Fischel, 2013 ACEA Grant WinnerDr. Melissa L. Fishel is awarded for her grant proposal in utilizing Real-Time Cell Analysis (RTCA) technique to interrogate the signaling between tumor and tumor microenvironment in pancreatic cancer progression and developing resistance. The overall objective of her proposal is to utilize the iCELLigence system to determine the biological effects of modulating APE1’s redox activity in cells that make up the tumor microenvironment in pancreatic cancer i.e. cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) and dorsal root ganglia (DRGs).

Dr. Melissa L. Fishel is an Assistant Research Professor of Pediatrics and Pharmacology & Toxicology at the Indiana University School of Medicine (USA). Her research projects involve investigation of novel combinations of therapeutics to enhance treatment of pediatric, pancreatic and ovarian cancers. From 2001 to 2004, she was a postdoctoral fellow with M. Eileen Dolan at The University of Chicago, where she discovered the connections of multiple DNA repair pathways/ proteins to sensitizing cancer cells to chemotherapy. She obtained her Ph.D. of Biochemistry in 2001 from Indiana University.

2013 Grant Recipient
Isabelle Plante, Ph.D., Assistant Professor at INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier, Canada.

Isabelle-Plante, 2012 ACEA Grant WinnerDr. Isabelle Plante is awarded for her grant proposal to help determine the role of myoepithelial cells (MECs) in breast cancer (BC). The mammary gland epithelium is composed of two layers of cells: an inner layer of luminal cells surrounded by an outer layer of MECs. It also encompasses stem cell populations. While it is generally recognized that most tumors arise from luminal or stem cells, the role of MECs in BC is poorly understood. The goal of her proposal is to understand whether MECs can acquire tumorigenic characteristics or act as a barrier inhibiting luminal cancer cells progression.

Dr. Isabelle Plante received her Ph.D. of Biology in 2006. From 2006 to 2011, she was a postdoctoral fellow with Dale W. Laird at Western University, where she showed that decreased intercellular communication results in developmental defects in the mammary gland and enhances breast cancer metastasis. Since 2011, she is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Toxicology at INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier (Canada). Her research aims to further determine the role of cellular interactions in mammary gland organogenesis and in breast cancer, and to understand how environmental pollutants can promote breast cancer.