New technology sends Tufts veterinary scientists on journey to center of the cell – Tufts Daily

New cutting edge technology recently installed at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University reminds Cheryl London, the associate dean for research and graduate education, of the 1966 sci-fi film “Fantastic Voyage.”

In the movie, an intrepid submarine crew shrinks down small enough to float through an injured scientist’s bloodstream to save his life.

The new technology, called spatial profiling, allows scientists to see so deep into tissue samples that London, an oncologist, said it feels like you’re actually there on the surface of the cell.

“It’s like taking a bird’s-eye look inside the cell itself,” London said. 

The Cummings School won a $2 million grant from the Waltham-based Massachusetts Life Sciences Center for the new equipment this spring, and it was installed over the summer. 

London and her team submitted their grant proposal to the MLSC, an organization that pools state and private money to invest in science research across the state, through the agency’s Research Infrastructure Program in the fall of 2020.

At the end of February of this year, an email informed London that Tufts had won the competitive grant.

“When you get the notification that you’ve been funded it’s one of those woo-hoo moments,” London said. “You do a little dance, and you’re pretty excited.”

The equipment was installed last June and July in the newly renovated Peabody Pavilion lab space, and by September it was available for use. 

The new lab equipment also includes advanced genetic sequencing and NanoString technology, which is able to sequence the DNA of a single cell.

London said the technology is a product of the latest in a series of major scientific leaps in the fields of genomics and pathology and has advanced rapidly.

Spatial profiling technology was only developed in the last five years. Next generation sequencing is slightly …….


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