Chromatrap awarded KESS 2 Ph.D scholarship in collaboration with Swansea University Medical School
20 Jun 2017
Chromatrap awarded KESS 2 Ph.D scholarship in collaboration with Swansea University Medical School

Chromatrap is pleased to announce that we have been successful in our application for a KESS 2 funded Ph.D collaborating with Dr James Cronin from Swansea University.

KESS2

The role of the Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS 2) connects academic organisations and businesses so they can undertake research projects together to meet the needs of a company or the sector it’s operating in. The collaborative project involves universities across Wales, led by Bangor University, and is supported by European Social Funds (ESF) through the Welsh Government.

In addition to meeting the demands of a business or sector, all KESS 2 projects are also tailored to generate innovative and exciting research.

Project overview

The research project funded by KESS2 is titled The development and application of a MeDIP assay for epigenetic profiling of primary ascites-derived cells to determine a link between metabolism and drug-resistance in ovarian cancer. Chromatrap’s solid-state chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) platform will be used to look at the aberrant epigenetic profiles of key metabolic genes, focusing on DNA methylation and altered histone modifications in ascites-derived tumour cells. 

“Although significant progress has been made in our understanding of the factors that promote cancer, resistance to chemotherapy is still a major problem. For instance, in women with advanced ovarian cancer most tumours will eventually become drug resistant, leaving surgery as the only option. This drug resistance has been directly linked to the metabolic changes in tumour cells, which fuels their growth.” – Dr. James Cronin 

This project will enable further validation of the solid-state platform in primary tissues and aid the company’s expansion into new markets through bespoke applications of its products. With the opportunity to publish peer-reviewed articles, results from this research will help build Chromatrap’s credibility and its application across a plethora of cell types used for epigenetics research.

Challenges

Previous work with  Swansea Univeristy Medical School (SUMS) and it’s researchers has helped Chromatrap develop a suite of solid-state products for the study of epigenetic profiles in human derived cells and cell lines.  The use of Chromatrap’s technology to elucidate the role metabolic epigenetic changes have in the growth, spread and development of drug resistance in ovarian cancer is one of the main scientific challenges of the project. 

Project outputs

“During this PhD, with the support of Chromatrap’s technology, we are looking at epigenetic changes in the metabolic genes of advanced ovarian cancers. We will investigate how these adaptations might contribute to drug resistance in tumour cells.” – Dr. James Cronin

The chosen Ph.D candidate will obtain a unique project experience gaining valuable laboratory expertise and scientific knowledge from Dr Cronin’s group who specialise in elucidating the role cell signalling molecules, and their receptors, play in disease. In particular, aberrant cell signalling pathways that lead to chronic inflammatory diseases and resistance to chemotherapy in cancer. They will also exposed to intersectoral approaches to research and development. They will be exposed to transferable skills, such as business, marketing and intellectual property, which are seldom encountered in the classic academic PhD course. 

For Swansea University

In line with the University’s strategy for promoting excellence in research, the project will generate the publication of data in leading international scientific journals and make for a significant contribution to funding proposals to UK and European Research Councils going forward. The data generated will also aid the commercialisation of the team’s research into novel ovarian cancer biomarkers, assays and therapeutics.

Swansea University is set to be at the forefront of ground-breaking research using the novel solid-state technology for epigenetic discoveries which are likely to have significant healthcare and economic benefits to the entire convergence region. 

For Chromatrap

Reasearch data generated from this scholarship will be valuable for the team to continue to research and develop the Chromatrap technology and it’s applications in the epigenetics industry. The MeDIP kit will add to its unique product portfolio enabling methylation profiles to be mapped rapidly and efficiently across the genome and across multiple samples simultaneously. What’s more, the kit will also overcome limitations previously associated with bisulfite-sequencing in distinguishing between both 5-hmC and 5-mC epigenetic marks.

"It is exciting to be working closely with Porvair, and their team of experts, on this project. I feel, this collaboration will place the student in an unique research environment, allowing them to experience research from both an industrial and academic perspective." – Dr. James Cronin 

Working together with a new student alongside Dr. Cronin, Chromatrap are excited to begin the collaboration in October 2017 and start uncovering changes in the epigenetic landscape of advanced ovarian cancers. Watch this space!

 

If you want to find out more about our research collaboration with Swansea University for KESS2, keep checking our news section for updates. Or, if you are interested in using Chromatrap technology for your own research, you can browse our range of ChIP revolutionary solid-state platform kits.

Share