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From bench to bedside: spatial biology to advance clinical research

The Spatial Biology Week™️

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From bench to bedside: spatial biology to advance clinical research

  • In the context of biomarker discovery, what are the common challenges around the analysis of tissue 
  • How can spatial proteomics be used to overcome these
  • What approaches does Propath UK use to streamline multiplexed IF/IHC 
  • Designing biomarker discovery projects using spatial technologies

Speaker

Kelly Hunter, MSc

Kelly Hunter, MSc

Chief Scientific Officer

ProPath UK

Speakers

Alexander Klimowicz, PhD

Alexander Klimowicz, PhD

Principal Scientist - Immunology and Respiratory Discovery Research

Boehringer Ingelheim

Dr. Alex Klimowicz is a Principal Scientist in the Department of Immunology and Respiratory Discovery Research at Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. In this capacity he leads the Molecular Histopathology Group, implementing and applying cutting edge in situ techniques, whole slide imaging, and digital image analysis, to build target to disease linkage in human tissue specimens for projects and external collaborations across the Department. Alex holds a PhD in Molecular Biology, and has 10 years of experience in the fields of digital pathology and quantitative immunohistochemistry. Prior to moving to Boehringer Ingelheim, Alex was an Adjunct Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Oncology at the University of Calgary, where he led a core quantitative immunohistochemistry lab focused on cancer biomarker research.

Priyank Patel, PhD

Priyank Patel, PhD

Senior Scientist

Boehringer Ingelheim

Multiplex immunofluorescence platforms capable of staining 40+ markers on a single 4 mm tissue are an incredible tool for interrogating the pathology of a variety of disease processes, in particular immune responses to cancers. While these platforms are capable of providing deep and high-resolution multimarker and spatial data from a single sample, there are specific risks to guard against. These include artifacts related to sensitivity, dynamic range, spectral bleed, and signal carryover from staining cycles. Of course, any significant observation made in multiplex IF must be corroborated using orthogonal measures, but due to the expense and effort required to perform the experiments, the potential impact of the results, and the precious nature of the samples, a properly validated assay is required. There is currently no standard validation approach for multiplex IF. Here we review our first experience with a beta unit of the Lunaphore COMET, inclusive of operation, performance, panel development, as well as a prototype validation

  • COMET technology walkthrough + mIF landscape
  • What a multiplex validation should cover
  • Comet validation plan
  • What worked & lessons learned

Speaker

Michael Surace, PhD

Michael Surace, PhD

Associate Director

AstraZeneca

Michael Surace received a BS in Biology from James Madison University in 2004 before joining the Medical Automation Research Center in the Department of Pathology at the University of Virginia. In 2006 he began graduate studies in the laboratory of Dr. Liwu Li, working on nuclear receptor and TLR signaling network crosstalk and its role in the polarization of macrophage activation phenotypes (M1/M2). He received his Ph.D. from Virginia Tech in 2010. Postdocs were at the Medical College of Virginia at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia, in the departments of Anatomy and Neurobiology, investigating the cellular mechanisms of microglial activation in response to toxic insult in Parkinson’s Disease and Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, working on astrocytes as inflammatory immune cells in multiple sclerosis. In 2015 he joined STCube Pharmaceuticals as a research scientist characterizing novel immune checkpoint inhibitor antibodies with multiplex immunofluorescence and digital pathology image analysis to support mechanistic action research. In 2017 he joined Medimmune/ AstraZeneca as a scientist developing and validating Multiplex IF panels. Since then, he has continued developing the mIF platform inside Translational Medicine Oncology, focusing on validation of panels, reproducibility across sites, and improving the image and data analysis pipelines for research and clinical trials to support the development of predictive and prognostic models incorporating multiple markers and spatial information.

  • Multiplex panel validation: challenges and opportunities
  • Ideal technological requirements in a biopharma setting
  • Spatially-resolved biomarkers use in a clinical setting

Speakers

Alexander Klimowicz, PhD

Alexander Klimowicz, PhD

Principal Scientist - Immunology and Respiratory Discovery Research

Boehringer Ingelheim

Dr. Alex Klimowicz is a Principal Scientist in the Department of Immunology and Respiratory Discovery Research at Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. In this capacity he leads the Molecular Histopathology Group, implementing and applying cutting edge in situ techniques, whole slide imaging, and digital image analysis, to build target to disease linkage in human tissue specimens for projects and external collaborations across the Department. Alex holds a PhD in Molecular Biology, and has 10 years of experience in the fields of digital pathology and quantitative immunohistochemistry. Prior to moving to Boehringer Ingelheim, Alex was an Adjunct Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Oncology at the University of Calgary, where he led a core quantitative immunohistochemistry lab focused on cancer biomarker research.

Michael Surace, PhD

Michael Surace, PhD

Associate Director

AstraZeneca

Michael Surace received a BS in Biology from James Madison University in 2004 before joining the Medical Automation Research Center in the Department of Pathology at the University of Virginia. In 2006 he began graduate studies in the laboratory of Dr. Liwu Li, working on nuclear receptor and TLR signaling network crosstalk and its role in the polarization of macrophage activation phenotypes (M1/M2). He received his Ph.D. from Virginia Tech in 2010. Postdocs were at the Medical College of Virginia at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia, in the departments of Anatomy and Neurobiology, investigating the cellular mechanisms of microglial activation in response to toxic insult in Parkinson’s Disease and Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, working on astrocytes as inflammatory immune cells in multiple sclerosis. In 2015 he joined STCube Pharmaceuticals as a research scientist characterizing novel immune checkpoint inhibitor antibodies with multiplex immunofluorescence and digital pathology image analysis to support mechanistic action research. In 2017 he joined Medimmune/ AstraZeneca as a scientist developing and validating Multiplex IF panels. Since then, he has continued developing the mIF platform inside Translational Medicine Oncology, focusing on validation of panels, reproducibility across sites, and improving the image and data analysis pipelines for research and clinical trials to support the development of predictive and prognostic models incorporating multiple markers and spatial information.

Kelly Hunter, MSc

Kelly Hunter, MSc

Chief Scientific Officer

ProPath UK

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