CellTechs Laboratory

Cellular Engineering Laboratory

Franck Yates

Head : Dr Frank Yates


  • Established: September 1st, 2010

Current Members

Baptiste Favard (Lab technician)

Description


Laboratoire d'étude des cellules souches de Sup'Biotech

The objective of CellTechs research laboratory, situated on the Sup’Biotech premises, is to carry out technological research in its early stages in a pre-industrial context. By relying on expertise from resident researchers and faculty, along with the personal investment of Sup’Biotech students, CellTechs’ mission is to make recognized technological tools available to students and our external collaborators in order to put on them on the path towards applied research and biotechnological innovation.

The research program of the CellTechs lab is primarily centred on the development of new techniques and innovative products intended for the fields of Industrial Pharmaceuticals, the Environment, Cosmetics and the Agri-Food Industry. The projects taken on by CellTechs are supported by a network of academic and industrial partnerships with laboratories that possess unique expertise.

Beyond the research projects unique to CellTechs, the lab makes the most advanced technological tools available to Sup’Biotech students in order to put them on the path towards applied research and biotechnological innovation

Research Axes :

  • Development of a system of eucaryotic and procaryotic expression for the production of recombinant antibodies (ScFv).
  • Automation of biochemical techniques and cell culture.

“Cell Pulripotency – Regeneration Engineering” Team

Partnership between Sup’Biotech and the CEA-IMETI-SEPIA (Institute for Emerging Illnesses and Innovative Therapies, Research Department of Prion and Atypical Infections).
Team is integrated in the Diagnostic and Therapeutic Innovation Laboratory, led by Dr JP Deslys.

Current Members :

  • Frank Yates (Professor-Researcher Sup’Biotech)
  • Rafika Jarray (Research Engineer Sup’Biotech)
  • Thomas Opitz (5th-year Student Intern Sup’Biotech)

Description

Induced pluripotent stem cells (IPS cells) are potentially immortal cells, capable of proliferating indefinitely while maintaining a stable genetic heritage. They represent one of the most modern and innovative applications of cellular biology because they offer the prospect of an unlimited supply of human cells of all types. The IPS cell model is particularly useful to cellular engineering techniques that consist of modifying the cell genome in order to adapt their properties to the needs of industrial research. These cells can be used as a model for certain genetic disorders and as a source of innovative therapeutic strategies.

For example, access to a stable cell population of neurons or functional neural progenitors would allow for pharmacological screening of therapeutic molecules on cells similar to their targets in vivo. It is also possible to foresee the transplant of cells for therapeutic purposes.

Derivation, the study and the differentiation of new induced pluripotent stem cell (IPS) lines is a part of the innovative projects integrated into the framework of Sup’Biotech’s research program.

The technique of cellular reprograming creates a number of prospects for technological innovations, but it necessitates a specific expertise and knowhow that can only be mastered in a state-of-the-art laboratory.

The research program partnership initiated between CellTechs (Sup’Biotech) and le SEPIA-IMETI (CEA) consists of using the technology of cellular reprograming in order to put in place models that are pertinent to research on neurodegenerative diseases. The Sup’Biotech/ CEA team’s primary objective is to develop differentiation models of IPS cells into neurons. The first foreseen application of these cells is their use to model certain neurodegenerative illnesses and to establish a reliable pharmacological screening, which would surpass the inherent limits of the modeling tools currently in use in the pharmaceutical industry.

Pluripotent Stem Cells

Pluripotent stem cells have two essential characteristics: self-renewal and pluripotency. Derived for the first time from man in 1998 by Professor Thomson from embryos a few days old, it was not until 2007 that a technique, developed by Professor Yamanaka of Japan, allowed for the derivation of pluripotent stem cells from an adult organism: the IPS cells. This masterful work was rewarded in 2012 with the Nobel Prize for Medicine. Whether it’s of embryonic origin or derived in vitro thanks to reprogramming techniques, pluripotent stem cells have furthered the concept of “personalized” regenerative medicine from the realm of science fiction to that of possibility. It is still appropriate to remain cautious in regards to the therapeutic progresses that are now foreseeable because of these major technological advances. Certain applications are nevertheless conceivable in the short term, such as the use of these cells to model certain pathologies in vitro, which could contribute to the discovery of new medicine.

Bank of Cellular Tools

The Sup’Biotech/CEA team also aims to develop, transfer and validate cellular models that are more relevant to the study of Alzheimer’s disease and prion diseases in order to add value to them for researchers and industrialists. The cellular tools generated and validated in the laboratory will then be stored in a bank (Master Cell Bank) that is well characterized.

The industrial transfer of these technologies requires a particular effort in regards to standardization and quality control of the different steps of cell culture. The adoption of new techniques (imaging, automation) to the culture of pluripotent stem cells is an issue of particular importance to the industrial sector. Thanks to a network of international collaborations, the “Pluripotency Engineering” team keeps a view of the most recent technological innovations in order to have at their disposal the most advanced applications in the field of cellular biotechnology.

Research Axes

  • Neurodegenerative illnesses (Alzheimers’, Prion diseases): the expertise of the SEPIA laboratory in the field of in vivo modeling of these illnesses will be applied in order to derive new in vitro models based on the use of pluripotent IPS cells.
  • Pluripotency Engineering: new reprogramming and differentiation techniques are applied based on the unique tools created in the SEPIA laboratory. These techniques will allow for animal and human cellular models with strong potential.

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