Novel xCELLigence Studies of iPSC Cardiomyocytes and of T Cell Engineering Both Receive Travel Award

Jeff LiFeatured

Researchers studying tachycardia in cardiomyocytes and specificity in genetically modified T cells both awarded travel grant by ACEA Biosciences – A part of Agilent.

ACEA Biosciences – A part of Agilent is pleased to announce the two winners of the Travel Award for Summer 2019. Dr. Esra Cagavi (Istanbul Medipol University) and Dr. Martin Naradikian (La Jolla Institute) were chosen as the winners, both of whom presented data utilizing the xCELLigence systems.

Dr. Cagavi is a faculty member at the School of Medicine at the Regenerative and Restorative Medicine Research Center (REMER) in Istanbul Medipol University. Dr. Cagavi and her team have interest in understanding the disease mechanism and drug screens for congenital forms of arrhythmia by using patient-specific iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes. She has received the travel award for her participation in the ISSCR Annual Meeting on June 26-29 in Los Angeles. Dr. Cagavi presented a poster reporting a model of sustained ventricular tachycardia based on patient-derived iPSCs that were shown to carry a novel SCN5A missense mutation. ACEA’s xCELLigence CardioECR system has been instrumental to record patient-derived cardiomyocytes cycling between a phase of high frequency beating and fibrillation-like state, then going back to high paced regular beats within hours. For the first time in literature, Dr. Cagavi and her team have captured the spontaneous and sustained ventricular tachycardia in a reproducible in vitro model.

Dr. Martin Naradikian received both his B.A. in Biological Physics and Ph.D. in Immunology from the University of Pennsylvania. Although he began his Postdoctoral Fellowship at Novartis, he returned to academia in the Schoenberger lab at La Jolla Institute to research neoantigen-specific T cell responses. Despite the recent success of chimeric-antigen receptor T cell therapy, cancer treatments fail to discriminate between normal and malignant cells. Using modern genetic sequencing techniques and standard immunoassays, they have identified T cells harboring specificity for common cancer driver mutations directly from patients’ blood. Naradikian is currently genetically engineering T cells with this anti-tumor specificity and validating their capacity to recognize neoantigens both in vitro and in vivo. Their hope is to create the next generation of cellular therapies that specifically target “mutated-self” rather than lineage determining surface antigens. Given the project’s capacity to have a direct impact on human health, Naradikian is eager to continue his future at the interface of academia and industry. Naradikian used the xCELLigence HT system to “[generate] dynamic and granular visibility plots over many days with a high degree of reproducibility and ease.” Naradikian presented a poster at the CRI-CIMT-EATI-AACR International Cancer Immunotherapy Conference on September 25-28 in Paris.

To learn more about ACEA’s Travel Award, see profiles of past winners, or download the application form for future funding cycles, click here. In addition to the travel award, ACEA also provides an xCELLigence Research Grant, which provides the grant winner access to RTCA technology for six months. To learn more, click here.