Welcome to the UCD Cell Screening Lab and the research group of Prof Jeremy Simpson at UCD. Our primary tool is that of quantitative fluorescence microscopy, a technique that allows us to precisely describe protein and organelle patterns and phenotypes within mammalian cells. The analysis of such image data is termed high-content analysis’ (HCA), and is a technique that permits us to describe complex phenotypes as part of our greater understanding of cell function. We apply HCA to deepen our understanding of how the endomembrane system of cells function, in the context of health and disease, and how we can apply this knowledge to improve therapeutic delivery to cells.
3D Cell Models
The lab primarily uses cultured mammalian cells for its work. While growing cells as monolayers has proved to be particularly powerful in the context of carrying out large-scale screens, such models do not allow all aspects of cell function to be studied. We are therefore increasingly using 3D cell models, in particular multicellular tumour spheroids (MCTS). Such models allow us to study cells in the context of other cells growing around them. They are also well suited for furthering our understanding of how therapeutics loaded on to nanocarriers transit from cell to cell, thereby mimicking the drug delivery process. We develop HCA pipelines that allow us to study these models in a volumetric manner, thereby extracting the maximum amount of information possible.