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Burnham Institute, JHU Using Invitrogen miRNA Platform for Stem Cell Research

BOSTON (GenomeWeb News) — Embryonic stem-cell researchers at the Burnham Institute and Johns Hopkins University are using Invitrogen's NCode miRNA array platform in their research, according to a company official.
 
The collaborations add embryonic stem-cell research to the list of potential areas that the nascent technology could target — an arena Invitrogen believes could become a boon to its miRNA business. 
 
Christopher Adams, a research area manager in Invitrogen's life sciences division, discussed the partnerships during a presentation at Cambridge Healthtech Institute's Microarrays in Medicine conference held here this week.
 
Adams said that Mark Mercola's lab at the Burnham Institute is working with Invitrogen to identify miRNAs that play a role in stem-cell differentiation. Mercola's research deals with the therapeutic uses of cardiomyocytes.
 
He added that "the main direction we are going in is to see if miRNA regulation can be manipulated to control stem-cell differentiation.”
 
In a follow-up interview with GenomeWeb Daily News sister publication BioArray News, Adams said Invitrogen said the stem cell-research arena could be a potential boon for the company’s miRNA array portfolio.
 
"Clearly the whole idea of being able to dictate cell fate is a very intriguing possibility for people who work in the stem cell field," he said. "That promise is why stem cell researchers seem to be really focused on miRNAs and their role right now."
 
Adams declined to discuss the Johns Hopkins collaboration in detail, but said that researchers there are also using the NCode platform. He noted that Mahendra Rao, a former professor at JHU, joined Invitrogen as vice president of research, stem cells, and regenerative medicine last year, and that the relationship between Invitrogen's stem cell group and JHU is close.