In a highly successful, first-of-its-kind endeavor, a multidisciplinary team of University of Wisconsin–Madison researchers has created a “tumor in a dish:” an ex vivo microenvironment that can accurately anticipate a multiple myeloma patient’s response to a drug.The advance could mean a giant step forward in efforts to tailor medical treatment plans to individual patients.Led by Shigeki Miyamoto, a professor of oncology at UW–Madison, and David Beebe, the John D. MacArthur Professor and Claude Bernard professor of biomedical engineering at UW–Madison, the researchers published news of the advance May 1, 2015, in the Royal Society of Chemistry journal Integrative Biology.“We’re taking the first steps toward mimicking the body in a dish,” Beebe says.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science’s (IOVS), Editor-in-Chief, Prof. David C. Beebe, has proposed that experimental results from cell lines should be confirmed with supporting primary tissue or in vivo data prior to publication. Prof. Beebe’s comments follow from a recently published perspective by researchers at North Texas Eye Research Institute, University of North Texas Health Science Center, showing that the widely used rat retinal ganglion cell line, “RGC-5”, is neither of rat or retinal ganglion cell origin. Since the original introduction of the cell line in 2001, it is estimated that over 220 scientific papers have been published on the mistaken basis of RGC-5’s been a rat retinal ganglion cell model. Commenting in the journal’s editorial, Prof. Beebe cautioned that despite the convenience and lower costs involved in cell-line work, “when possible, results obtained using cell lines should be confirmed using cultured primary tissues or in vivo. Studies that “go the extra distance” to confirm the results of in vitro studies will generally receive a more favorable assessment at IOVS”.
Scientists are natural problem solvers, full of innovative ideas. But moving those ideas from the laboratory to the marketplace can be difficult, even for those with an entrepreneurial bent.
In part, that’s because federal research dollars typically don’t support the proof-of-concept studies needed to demonstrate the feasibility of a promising new technology or diagnostic test. And while most scientists feel right at home in the laboratory, they often struggle to develop a successful pitch or execute a business plan.
To fill the gap, Washington University’s Bear Cub program provides university scientists with funding to help commercialize their discoveries. Beginning this year, scientists who are funded through the program also have access to business mentors and other hands-on assistance to develop their technologies…
…The university recently announced a new round of Bear Cub funding, with $204,000 going to five scientists:
David Beebe, PhD, the Janet and Bernard Becker Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, is developing a way to prevent the formation of cataracts in patients undergoing retinal surgery. To repair the retina, surgeons must remove a portion of the vitreous gel that fills the eye, a process that exposes the lens to oxygen and increases the likelihood of cataracts.
Measuring oxygen during eye surgery, investigators at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have discovered a reason that may explain why African-Americans have a higher risk of glaucoma than Caucasians…
…“We began studying oxygen in the eye after our basic studies showed that it was tightly regulated there, with the lowest levels near the lens,” says David C. Beebe, PhD, the Janet and Bernard Becker Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and professor of cell biology and physiology. “Clinical studies with Nancy Holekamp (MD, professor of clinical ophthalmology and visual sciences) and Ying-Bo Shui (MD, PhD, senior scientist) revealed that exposure of the lens to excess oxygen caused the most common kind of cataracts. And our discovery about cataracts led us, somewhat surprisingly, to glaucoma. Dr. Siegfried then joined us, confirming the connection between oxygen and glaucoma, and the link between oxygen and race was yet another surprise.”
Members of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) have elected David Beebe, PhD, FARVO, the new editor-in-chief of the ARVO journal Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science (IOVS). Beebe’s term will begin in January 2013, and he will serve as editor-in-chief for five years. He will replace current IOVS editor-in-chief Paul L. Kaufman, MD.