Onco Cell Therapy Summit

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Speakers: Meghan F. Hogan, Ph.D.


Date: November 16-18, 2021

Location: Boston, MA


Title: Molecular Characterization of Stem Cells and Cellular Therapy: A Step Toward Standardization with the nCounter® Stem Cell, CAR-T Characterization, and Human Organ Transplant Panels

Meghan F. Hogan, Ph.D.
Scientist I
NanoString Technologies

Stem cell biology has made tremendous strides in techniques and differentiating both induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and embryonic stem cells (ESCs) to a variety of different end products. Scientists are now able to generate tissues and whole organs from unicellular pluripotent cells in culture in regenerative medicine; to harvest patients’ cells and dedifferentiate them into iPSCs which can be modified via CRISPR and expanded to generate healthy cells for replacement cell therapy; to use stem cells to develop organoids to model a variety of disease and screen drugs. What has become clear is that culturing, reprograming, and maintaining stem cells is a delicate art, and methods vary throughout the field. Several significant challenges also exist in the consistency by which stem cells can be validated and characterized at each stage to ensure that they are differentiating as desired. To address these challenges and further support the need for standardized approaches, NanoString has developed a new gene expression panel for use with the nCounter® platform for the molecular characterization of stem cells in research, development, and expansion. This Stem Cell Characterization Panel incorporates content to measure eight themes of stem cells, including stemness, pluripotency, differentiation signaling, lineage specification, regulation signaling, epigenetics, mechano-signaling and metabolism, as well as the ability to screen for viability of the cells and contamination of mycoplasma. This panel was built to enable the community to begin the discussion about the challenges facing researchers in using stem cells, by providing a standardized panel on the nCounter platform for stem cell product characterization in generation of real time and comparable data between investigators, resulting in faster universal modifications in the differentiation process.

We will discuss how the Stem Cell Characterization panel and two additional nCounter panels, the Organ Transplant and CAR-T Characterization panels can be used to characterize, standardize, and unveil differences in biology in the process of cellular therapy, including stem cell characterization, inherent transplant biology of the host, and downstream characterization of apheresis and infusion products. The capacity to generate standardized data for the development of a wide array of cellular therapy processes and the health of the transplanted organ should result in sharable knowledge, faster improvement in the manufacturing process and better insights into patients’ response to therapy.

Learn more about our nCounter® Stem Cell Characterization Panel!