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EGA Institute for Women's Health

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Somatotransgenic Bioimaging (SomaBio)

Project Director: Simon Waddington

Principal Lead: Suzy Buckley

PhD: Rajvinder Karda

SGUL Lead: Tristan McKay

SGUL RA: Juliette Delhove

For decades researchers have used small mammals to study the underlying processes of human disease and potential therapies for such ailments. Current ways to measure disease progression and the effect of potential drug treatments would usually involve groups of animals being killed at multiple time points in order to analyse post-mortem tissues. 

Through somatotransgenic bioimaging we have developed a process of precisely measuring biochemical pathways in live animals by looking at light emission. This avoids the need for serial culling of groups of animals. 

We can target our analysis  to specific organs or tissues and take measurements many times without hurting or killing the animal. Because we are able to generate data without sacrifice we can greatly reduce the number of animals involved in any given experiment. This work is funded by a European Research Council Starting grant. 

Biosensors and surrogate promoters which we have generated to date are the following:

NF-κB, SBE, BRE, GFAP, α1AT, HRE, WNT, ER, p53, AP-1, PI3/AKT, STAT3, Gli, HNF4-β, NRF2, XRE (anti-oxidant), NFAT, GRRE, Notch, ISL1, TFEB, LXR, SFFV, LGR5, ICAM-1, mTTR, GFAP,