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Melissa Skala, Ph.D.

AIMBE College of Fellows Class of 2019
For innovative contributions in optical imaging to quantify tumor metabolism and optically-based personalized drug screens for cancer.

Label-Free Autofluorescence Imaging Method Differentiates Between Active, and Off-Duty T Cells

Via Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News | July 28, 2020

Researchers headed by a team at the University of Wisconsin (UW)-Madison, and the Morgridge Institute for Research, have developed a novel label-free imaging technique that exploits autofluorescence in cells to differentiate between active and off-duty T cells, at the single cell level. They suggest the technology, known as autofluorescence lifetime imaging, could be used to help evaluate T cell involvement in immunotherapies for cancer treatment or autoimmune diseases. “It’s super novel,” said the Morgridge Institute’s Melissa Skala, PhD, who is also an associate professor of biomedical engineering at UW-Madison. “Most people aren’t using these techniques—you don’t see a lot of autofluorescence studies in immunology.”

Reporting on development and tests with the technology in Nature Biomedical Engineering, the researchers commented, “Autofluorescence lifetime imaging can be used to characterize T cells in vivo in preclinical models, in clinical applications including small blood samples (such as pediatric samples) in which antibody labeling is limited, or in cultured T cells, such as those used in biomanufactured T-cell therapies.” Their paper is titled, “Classification of T-cell activation via autofluorescence lifetime imaging… Continue reading.

Dr. Melissa Skala Inducted into Medical and Biological Engineering Elite

Via AIMBE | March 28, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) has announced the induction of Melissa Skala, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, to its College of Fellows.

Election to the AIMBE College of Fellows is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to a medical and biological engineer. The College of Fellows is comprised of the top two percent of medical and biological engineers. College membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to “engineering and medicine research, practice, or education” and to “the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of medical and biological engineering, or developing/implementing innovative approaches to bioengineering education.”

Dr. Skala was nominated, reviewed, and elected by peers and members of the College of Fellows for “innovative contributions in optical imaging to quantify tumor metabolism and optically-based personalized drug screens for cancer.”