Recipients of ACEA Bioscience’s Travel Award Announced for Winter 2017

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San Diego-based biotechnology company awards funding to researchers in the fields of immunology and cancer epigenetics/chemotherapy.

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ACEA Biosciences, a privately owned biotechnology company that develops cutting edge instrumentation for cell-based assays, disperses a quarterly travel award to noteworthy scientists who will be presenting research using ACEA Biosciences’ technology at scientific conferences. Today the company announced that its new round of awards are being given to two postdoctoral fellows studying pathogen capture by neutrophils, and the impact of epigenetics on chemotherapy efficacy.

Dr. Calum Robb, a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Adriano Rossi at the University of Edinburgh Medical School, was selected for his poster entitled “Flow cytometric assessment, quantification and regulation of human neutrophil extracellular traps” which he will present at the CYTO 2017 Conference being held June 10-14 in Boston, MA. Beyond their well characterized role as phagocytes, granulocytic neutrophils are also able to ensnare and neutralize pathogens using a secreted extracellular fibril matrix consisting of DNA, histones, and a variety of anti-bacterial proteins. Though the employment of these neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) is thought to be an evolutionarily ancient defense strategy, the mechanisms regulating this process are not yet fully understood. With the goal of elucidating these mechanisms, Robb developed a NovoCyte® flow cytometer-based assay that enabled him to track changes in NET formation when key proteins or pathways were pharmacologically modulated. Using this approach, Robb probed the roles of superoxide anion, intracellular calcium pools, and the phospholipase C pathway in NET formation. The efficiency and versatility of Robb’s assay are expected to accelerate the rate of progress in this relatively new field.

Dr. Rentian Wu, a postdoc in the lab of Dr. Robert Diasio at the Mayo Clinic, was selected for his poster entitled "Trimethylation and acetylation of histone H3K27 modulates 5-fluorouracil response by regulating DPYD expression" which he will present at the 2017 American Association for Cancer Research meeting taking place April 1-5 in Washington D.C. Though it is one of the most widely used chemotherapy drugs, the antimetabolite 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) displays substantial variability in its efficacy and toxicity among patients. This variability is due, at least in part, to differences in the activity of DPD, the enzyme which initiates the catabolic degradation of 5-FU to inactive metabolites. Though mutations in the DPD gene can affect 5-FU metabolism, these variants are rare and cannot by themselves explain the variation in DPD activity that is observed among patients. In search for the cause of variable DPD activity, Wu used the xCELLigence® Real-Time Cell Analyzer in combination with both chemical inhibitors and genetic approaches to demonstrate that the DPD gene is epigenetically regulated by histone modification at promoter and enhancer regions. This new layer of information has the potential to help clinicians predict more accurately how a patient will respond to 5-FU treatment.

To learn more about ACEA’s Travel Award, see profiles of past winners, or download the application form for future funding cycles, click here.

About xCELLigence® RTCA
xCELLigence® Real Time Cell Analysis (RTCA) instruments utilize gold microelectrodes embedded in the bottom of microtiter wells to non-invasively monitor the status of adherent cells using the principle of cellular impedance. In short, cells act as insulators – impeding the flow of a miniscule electric current between electrodes. This impedance signal is measured automatically, at an interval defined by the user, and provides an extremely sensitive readout of cell number, cell size, cell-substrate attachment strength, and cell invasion/migration. xCELLigence® RTCA instruments are being used in both academia and industry for basic and applied applications ranging from cancer immunotherapy and cardiotoxcity to drug discovery and receptor signaling. To date xCELLigence® has been used in more than 1,250 publications, which can be viewed in a searchable library.

About NovoCyte® Flow Cytometer
NovoCyte® is a high performance yet budget-friendly benchtop flow cytometer that is capable of detecting up to 15 different parameters. With 4 different laser options and a highly customizable optical platform, NovoCyte can be configured for diverse applications and is readily upgradeable over time. Automation of multiple fluidic functions improves data acquisition efficiency, while hands-on time is minimized by the NovoSampler® Pro which can automatically acquire samples from single tubes, multi-tube racks, or 24-, 48-, or 96-well plates. The NovoExpress software, which is used for running NovoCyte® experiments and analyzing data, is widely regarded as the new benchmark for flow cytometry software.

For more informatiom, click here.

For further information please contact:                                                                                    
ACEA Biosciences, Inc.                                                                                                                
Dr. Jeff Xue                                                                                                                                    
Phone: 1-858-724-0928, x3075                                                                                                
email: jxue(at)aceabio(dot)com

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Jeff Xue, Ph.D.
ACEA Biosciences, Inc.
+1 8587240928 Ext: 3075
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