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The new Cell and Gene Therapy Core Facility is opening its doors to scientific business

A laboratory expert in action in the Cell and Gene Therapy Core Facility. Photo.
A laboratory expert in action in the Cell and Gene Therapy Core Facility.

Lund Stem Cell Center provides researchers with access to core facilities equipped with the latest technologies, specialist expertise and instruction on the use of the different equipment. Over time these facilities have evolved to form the well-developed technological infrastructure which exists today. Earlier this year, the Center, in partnership with MultiPark, took the next step in the evolution process by bringing together three core facilities into one comprehensive Cell and Gene Therapy Core Facility - aiming to support advanced science at the highest international level.

Over the years, the Lund Stem Cell Center has established advanced technical platforms and core facilities which have continuously evolved alongside the developments made in the ever-growing field of stem cell research. Operated by professionals with years of expertise in their respective fields, these platforms help to facilitate top-notch research and allow access to new and emerging cutting-edge technologies across Lund University, Sweden and beyond.

One of the latest initiatives has included the merger of three core facilities - the CRISPR core, the iPS core, and the Vector core – into one Cell and Gene Therapy Core (CGTC) Facility. At the start of 2022, the Center moved to unite these platforms to enhance the experimental capabilities available and further provide state-of-the-art services, tools, and technologies to researchers everywhere, through a streamlined pipeline.

group picture
The Cell and Gene Therapy Core Facility team.

The facility now consists of a six-member team covering everything from CRISPR, cloning, and lentiviral and AAV vector production to molecular biology and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. The team of experts is led by the CGTC Facility Director, Professor Anna Falk, and the CGTC Facility Coordinator, Dr. Pia Johansson.

 

“This merger means that the CGTC will now have a broad range of services while maintaining a specialist mindset. Basically, what this means is that the CGTC will have a strong research foundation built around the diverse expertise now available in all aspects of the facility,” explained Dr. Pia Johansson.

While the facility is still  in a start-up phase, the doors to the CGTC are officially open for business with the services to be offered being determined based on the current needs of local researchers at Lund University. Importantly, all services previously offered by the former facilities will remain, in addition to a few new add-ons. Ideas for future services include the production of CRISPR gRNA libraries, and the differentiation of iPS cells, as well as some ready-made and off-the-self services, such as testing kits.

“We really want to favor research excellence by producing tools for researchers so that they do not have to reinvent the wheel themselves. Also, our aim in the long-term is to assist researchers in the transition towards advanced therapy medicinal products by standardizing all of our procedures as much as possible,” highlighted Pia.

Building on the Center’s foundational linkages to education, the CGTC team also plans to offer trainings and seminars on a variety of topics. Previously, trainings were held for iPS laboratory users, where individuals were taught first-hand, how to work in the laboratory and grow their own iPS cells, and these will continue going forward. “We also plan to hold several focused seminar series on different topics. For example, we would like to provide the opportunity for researchers working with iPS cells and CRISPR to share what they are doing and present their technological data in addition to any best practices and/or lessons learned,” stated Pia.

Also on the agenda, is to provide support to public outreach initiatives and be involved in discussions related to gene editing, cell-based therapies and the transition towards advanced therapy medicinal products with other parts of society. “I think this is an important part of what we do, to take part in education and discussions about the ethics of gene editing. It is important to understand what people think about these things and to help educate others on these difficult topics and the different types of research tools available,” concluded Pia.

Interested in learning more about the Cell and Gene Therapy Core Facility and the services and trainings they offer?

Please join us on Wednesday, 11 May, 2022 from 13:00 to 15:30 at BMC B10 for the facility’s opening day event.

We hope to see you there!

Contacts:

Portrait of Pia Johansson. Photo.

Pia Johansson, PhD
Coordinator, CRISPR

Email: pia [dot] johansson [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se


The Cell and Gene Therapy Core Facility
Biomedical Centre (BMC) | B10
Lund Stem Cell Center
Lund University
Sölvegatan 19
SE-221 84 Lund, Sweden

Email: cellandgenetherapy [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se

For more information please visit the Cell and Gene Therapy Core Facility Webpage