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GEN News Highlights : Dec 7, 2009

Cyntellect and Boston University Ink Partnership to Research Diabetes and Anemia

BU scientists will use the firm’s cell-processing technology to study oxidative damage in mitochondria.

Cyntellect entered into a research collaboration with the Boston University School of Medicine to further understand the roles of mitochondrial oxidative damage in degenerative, aging, and metabolic diseases. Boston University scientists will use Cyntellect’s LEAP™ cell processing workstation to analyze, purify, and process cells within microplates.

“Cellular imaging is central to our research, and much effort is dedicated to developing novel techniques for monitoring living cells,” notes Orian Shirihai, M.D., Ph.D., director of the cell-imaging core at Boston University. “Cyntellect’s LEAP workstation will give us a valuable tool to advance our studies by adding unique cell-processing capabilities within the context of a cell imaging system.

“We will study two disease models in which oxidative damage to mitochondria play a key role in the development of pathology,” Dr. Shirihai explains. “In diabetes, nutrient-induced oxidative damage has been shown to be a major mediator of endocrine dysfunction and beta-cell loss. In bone marrow oxidative damage can lead to the development of anemia and myelodysplastic syndrome.”

Fred Koller, Ph.D., president and CEO of Cyntellect, states, “The LEAP workstation offers an ideal platform for dissecting the roles of mitochondria in beta cells. Mitochondria in beta cells play a key role as integrators of nutrient signals and insulin secretion. The mechanisms that underlie deterioration of mitochondrial function during the development of diabetes are critical for understanding the etiology of this disease.”