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Rethinking 3D cell culture: Advanced cell cultures from iPSCs and organoids

This webinar is brought to you by the Science/AAAS Custom Publishing Office

Rethinking 3D cell culture: Advanced cell cultures from iPSCs and organoids

14 April 2021

12:00 p.m. ET

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The world is neither flat nor two-dimensional, so why should cell culture be? Traditional cell culture systems grow cells on flat, coated, plastic dishes; however, these systems are not representative of what occurs in the human body. Since the early 2010s, techniques for growing organoids—a collection of organ-specific cell types that develops from stem cells or organ progenitors—have rapidly increased. Organoids are grown in 3D culture systems, in which cells thrive either in suspension or through a scaffold made with components from the extracellular matrix. Ranging in size from less than the width of a human hair to the width of a pencil eraser (50 µm–5 mm), organoids contain multiple organ-specific cell types that are spatially grouped together to replicate an organ and/or express an organ’s specific aspects or functions (e.g., contraction, neural activity, endocrine section, filtration, excretion).

So far, researchers have produced organoids that resemble the brain, kidney, lung, intestine, stomach, heart, and liver. This way of culturing tissues offers scientists a detailed view of how organs form and grow, provides new insights on human development and disease, improves drug discovery, and creates new approaches to personalized medicine.

In this webinar, our expert speakers will:

  • Detail how to study induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and outline commonly used 3D organoid models and applications
  • Provide an overview and update on current techniques to characterize 3D organoid models
  • Discuss the challenges and advantages of 3D organoid models in drug discovery and precision medicine
  • Answer your questions during the live broadcast.

This webinar will last for approximately 60 minutes.

Speaker bios

Sylvia Boj, Ph.D.

Hubrecht Organoid Technology
Utrecht, Netherlands

Dr. Boj received her Ph.D. in 2006 at the University of Barcelona, Spain, for her work at the August Pi i Sunyer Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBAPS) on functional genetic analysis for deciphering the transcriptional role of maturity-onset diabetes of the young (MODY) genes in pancreatic beta cells. With a long-term EMBO fellowship, she subsequently joined the Hubrecht Institute (Utrecht, the Netherlands) as a postdoctoral fellow. In the laboratory of Hans Clevers, she first studied the role of the TCF7L2 regulating metabolism. Then, she established an in vitro organoid model for human pancreatic cancers. In 2014, she moved to Hubrecht Organoid Technology (HUB), also in Utrecht, as a group leader for its cystic fibrosis and cancer programs. In 2016, she was appointed as scientific director of HUB, with the goal of transferring scientific advances in organoid technology to the development of new drugs by interacting with pharmaceutical companies and developing clinical trials to validate the predictive value of organoids for patient response. In 2020 she became HUB’s chief scientific officer.

Sandra Leibel, M.D.

University of California, San Diego
San Diego, California

Dr. Leibel received her M.D. from the Jagiellonian University School of Medicine in Krakow, Poland. She received a Master’s in lung physiology from the University of Toronto after being recruited into the Physician Scientist program at the Hospital for Sick Children. Currently she is an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego, as well as a neonatologist and lung biology researcher. Dr. Leibel studies the impact of surfactant deficiency on lung and brain development and has developed a novel, stem cell–derived 3D multicellular lung organoid model containing both epithelial and mesenchymal populations. She has experience in multiple lung-culture systems, both primary lung tissue and stem cell–derived, and utilizes gene therapy and reporter cell lines to study surfactant metabolism in the developing lung and the impact of surfactant on viral infections.

Jackie Oberst, Ph.D.

Washington, DC

Dr. Oberst did her undergraduate training at the University of Maryland, College Park, and her Ph.D. in Tumor Biology at Georgetown University, Washington D.C. She combined her interests in science and writing by pursuing an M.A. in Journalism from the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, College Park. Dr. Oberst joined Science/AAAS in 2016 as the Assistant Editor for Custom Publishing. Before then she worked at Nature magazine, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The Endocrine Society, and the National Institutes of Mental Health.

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