Dr. Shannon Mumenthaler is an Assistant Professor of Research Medicine and Lab Director of the Lawrence J. Ellison Institute for Transformative Medicine of USC. She works closely with a multidisciplinary team, including mathematicians for data analysis. Her group’s latest study published in Nature’s Scientific Reports  describes a unique technological combination of high-throughput cell imaging with physiologically relevant oxygen levels in a cytocentric barrier isolator.
In Part One of this two-part interview, we talk with Dr. Mumenthaler about her approach for acquiring a better understanding of the complex drug responses of tumors in their natural environment. Read the full transcripts of this interview to learn more about the importance of controlling oxygen in the tumor microenvironment.
BioSpherix's scientific laboratory explores Cytocentric™ environments, in vitro spaces designed so that cells are protected from room air at all times, even during cell handling. A controlled environment is essential for good science, yet the conventional open room laboratory provides highly unstable and non-physiologic conditions for cells.
Dr. Hal Broxmeyer is a Distinguished Professor, Professor of Microbiology/Immunology and Co-Leader of the Program on Hematopoiesis, Malignant Hematology, and Immunology at Indiana University Simon Cancer Center. He has chalked up well over 1,000 scientific publications and his work has been seminal to the field of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. His group’s 2015 paper in Cell and the subsequent review articleare landmark papers that demonstrate how room air oxygen exposure during cell isolation inflicts damage on freshly isolated stem cells.
Here, we talk with Dr. Broxmeyer about his work and learn how relevant oxygen conditions affect hematopoietic progenitor cells. This interview was conducted by email and edited for length.
The Lasker Awards were won this year by a trio of incredibly important figures in physiologic oxygen research; William Kaelin, Peter Ratcliffe, and Gregg Semenza.
What did they do?
An important new publication in Stem Cells and Development by Tiwari et al in Australia has brought a critically important in vitro oxygen diffusion issue to the forefront. In a murine model, they explore optimum tissue oxygenation levels for best in vitro expansion of HSC for transplant.