Role and Contribution
STEMCELL will collaborate with the Fraunhofer IPA project group to develop concepts for the transfer of tumour biopsy material to a container for tissue disruption and digestion. An automated method for obtaining a single cell suspension from the tumour tissue will then be optimised, after which a process will be designed to immuno-magnetically isolate GIST tumour cells from the biopsy sample.
STEMCELL will also assist in the dissemination and exploitation phase of the project by presenting the results at scientific conferences. It is hoped that our efforts in the experimental phase will culminate in the development of a commercial kit for the dissociation and isolation of GIST tumour cells. The technology may also be applicable to other solid tumour cell types.
Maureen Fairhurst is a Special Applications, Principal Scientist in Research and Development at STEMCELL Technologies. She has over 30 years of laboratory experience in the fields of Cellular Immunology, Biochemistry, and Hematopoietic Stem Cell Biology through her work at the Salk Institute and Scripps Clinic in La Jolla, as well as the University of British Columbia and currently STEMCELL. Her work in immunology research includes antibody development, animal models for autoimmune diseases, functional in-vivo assays, flow cytometry and media development for dendritic cells. Over the 18 years that she has been with STEMCELL she has been responsible for all aspects of product development activity leading to market launch of the StemSep™ product line, development of innovative cell separation products using EasySep™ and RoboSep™ (for mouse, rat, non-human primate and human hematopoietic cells) and serum-free media for cell culture. This work included design, technology transfer to manufacturing and rigorous customisation of products. The current focus of her work is to offer product and protocol modifications for existing products and to develop new products for individual customers. This involves working closely with scientists and technologists on the team she leads as well as the Sales, Marketing and Technical Support groups.