Creative endeavors—including drug discovery—bring to mind that old saying, “Think outside the box.” That’s a good saying, but when the box is the human cell, it is necessary to think inside the box, too. Also, it helps to think about what’s within.
In this eBook, we consider all these perspectives. Probing inside, we can see how CRISPRa and CRISPRi tools can enable gain- and loss-of-function screens. Examination of the surface of the cell can identify targets for antibody therapeutics; track surface markers that help recognize diﬀerent kinds of immune cells; and ﬁnd ways to coax “undruggable” targets into “druggable” conformations. Looking outside the cell, we can catalog secreted proteins, adding another dimension to phenotypic and target identiﬁcation screens.
Looking outside the cell also means appreciating how cells behave collectively. For example, three-dimensional (3D) cell models, or organoid models, may improve target identiﬁcation, high-throughput drug screening, drug eﬃcacy analyses, and toxicity studies.
One of the articles in this eBook discusses how information derived from organoid models may be analyzed with the help of artiﬁcial intelligence.
No matter how the cell is regarded, we will ultimately need cell production techniques.
So, in this eBook, be alert to the essential roles played by cell line development and cell culture technologies. Also, remember that looking inside, at, or beyond cells, requires special kinds of vision. These can be provided by ﬂow cytometry, live-cell analysis, and biophysical analysis systems.