Advanced health biotechnology conferences in the US sheds light on local capacity

ACGT support scientist, Jessika Samuels, recently attended the Physiologically Relevant Cellular Models for Drug-Discovery and High Content Analysis Conference. Held in La Jolla, California. The conferences were held concurrently and were preceded by informative user sessions. With the growing need to develop predictive  in vitro models to aid in drug discovery and support high content approaches, the conferences were complimentary and attracted much attention from the ~200 delegates in attendance.

Topics included: high content analysis for 3D cell models, 3D cell culture for drug discovery, high content analysis of live cells and tissues, and stem cell-derived models amongst a myriad of topics.

Ms Samuels presented a poster on the work undertaken by staff and researchers in the African Centre for Gene Technologies (ACGT) partnership, which attracted much attention and possibilities for building future collaborations in the Health Sector. Researchers were especially interested and impressed by the existing infrastructure in SA. Moreover, developers of supporting platforms were eager to form partnerships with local consortia, to test the efficacy of their platforms across continents an in the South African research environment. International researchers were also pleasantly surprised at what SA researchers were focusing on, judging by the feedback on  a research poster presented by the local contingent.

During her stay, she also visited the laboratory of a Witsie, now based at the Scripps Institute, Prof Marco Weinberg. The visit in its entirety highlighted the intensity and competitive nature of research in and around Silicon Valley and in the USA as a whole. It also emphasized current developments and pitfalls that globally leading laboratories are facing in drug discovery and the development of relevant  in vitro cellular models.

Contact Jessika for a discussion on the two conferences: