Dr. Marcela Garita-Hernandez, Pharm D, PhD, has been working on pluripotent stem cell lines since 2005. Now Director of the iPS Research Lab at OGI, Department of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School, she relates her many years of iPS cultivation experience in relation to genomic abnormalities.
Our laboratory investigates the mechanisms underlying human retinal pathogenesis. Our approach involves utilizing patient-derived hiPSCs and isogenic model lines generated through cutting-edge gene editing technologies, such as base and prime editing.
It is my responsibility as head of the iPS lab to be up to date with the latest technologies and available QCs for stem cell lines. As gene-editing constitutes a stressful procedure for cells, we are mindful of the potential genomic abnormalities this may cause. We also have a long differentiation process that lasts around 200 days, so we want to make sure the starting material is optimal. Consequently, we have a very stringent quality control process in place, aimed at durably ensuring the stability of our lines. In my experience, you need to check your cell lines routinely, as nothing that I have found to date can help you predict genomic abnormalities without testing your cell lines regularly. If your raw material is not stable, it is very difficult to trust any differentiation changes down the line.
iCS-digital™ PSC is ideal for regular testing and has always been part of our workflow. I used it in my previous lab and brought it along with me when I started working at OGI. We use it before and after editing. Before editing, it allows us to bank our cell lines safely, and after editing, it helps us select the clones we are going to differentiate.
iCS-digital™ PSC offers a very simple solution and the science behind it makes sense. It is also affordable for most labs, so there is really no excuse not to test your lines.
With the goal of developing new therapies, the iPS Research Laboratory at the Ocular Genomics Institute (OGI) is a translational research group that strives to understand the mechanisms underlying human retinal pathogenesis. Our approach involves utilizing patient-derived hiPSCs (human-induced pluripotent stem cells) and isogenic model lines generated through cutting-edge gene editing technologies, such as base and prime editing.
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