Cells Replacing Serum
Cells as a serum factory
Tufts University, United States
The Jackson Laboratory, United States
Who: Michael McLellan, Ph.D. student in mammalian genetics
When: 2020 – 2021
Institutes: Tufts University, United States; The Jackson Laboratory, United States
Supervisors: Nadia Rosenthal, scientific director and professor of the Jackson Laboratory for Mammalian Genetics
Mike is studying and mapping the complex web of communication between all of the different cells in skeletal muscle tissue. He will identify which growth factors are needed for cells to grow and form muscle in culture. Once he knows these key signals, he will engineer a new “support cell” whose job is to produce these signals.
Serum is jam-packed with the signals that tell cells to grow, mimicking the complex signals that occur in muscle naturally. Mike’s work will identify which growth factors skeletal muscle cells need and let the “support cell” produce them, without the need for serum.