Fight against cancer fueled by public-private collaborations

At the Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work, there are many examples of public-private alliances in place that aim to find ways to promote public health through innovations in the understanding of life-threatening diseases such as cancer. Most recently, the college has entered into a research agreement with Sweden’s Phase Holographic Imaging (PHI) for evaluation of HoloMonitorM4® technology to characterize the behavior of breast cancer stem cells.

Professor Deodutta Roy

Professor Deodutta Roy

The evaluation will be spearheaded by Deodutta Roy, a professor in the college’s Department of Environmental & Occupational Health, whose current projects include investigation of the role of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and redox-sensitive transcription factor – nuclear respiratory factor (NRF1) that contribute to cancer stem development, and accelerate the progression of the disease. PHI will support Roy’s research by providing a holographic imaging cytometry platform HoloMonitorM4 as well as training and support for the purpose of enabling the successful evaluation. The research group will provide laboratory space, lab equipment, personnel and biological test models for evaluation.

“We are excited about the potential of collaboration with PHI to evaluate the use of HoloMonitor technology in our research focused on the role of NRF1 in the generation of breast cancer stem cells. We’re particularly encouraged by HoloMonitor’s real-time multiplexing capabilities to study cell cycle, cell motility, cell survival and 3D morphological analysis of living normal and breast cancer stem cells,” says Roy.


PHI’s HoloMonitorM4 in front of 3D cells

Peter Egelberg, CEO of PHI, adds, “This new alliance reflects our emphasis on collaborative research and expansion of the international network of scientists using HoloMonitor technology. We are enthusiastic about the evaluation and hope that our technology will contribute significantly to Roy’s research in the understanding of mechanisms of breast cancer progression and development on novel noninvasive diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers.”

Though results from this research agreement are still to come, it’s collaborations like these that continue the progress from surface to cause, which is directly in line with Stempel’s Department of Environmental & Occupational Health’s mission statement, “The solution to solving the world’s environmental health issues lies with understanding the underlying mechanisms.”

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