Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope - Articles and news items

Diana Russom, Department of Information Technology Systems, Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope

Informatics: The use of LIMS in the management of translational research and pilot manufacturing operations

Informatics, Issue 5 2013 / 22 October 2013 / Diana Russom (Department of Information Technology Systems, Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope) / Amira Ahmed and Nancy Gonzalez (Laboratory for Cellular Medicine, Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope) / David L. DiGiusto (Laboratory for Cellular Medicine and Department of Virology, Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope)

The volume of data generated in modern medical research centres is growing exponentially and becoming more diverse as advancements in automation and biotechnology transform the basic operations of these laboratories and clinics. Patient care and laboratory instrumentation generate data at a rate that rapidly outpaces the ability to track and process information with traditional (manual) methods. We found that a robust electronic information management system is essential to maintain control over operations in a dependable and compliant fashion. Over the last seven years, we have developed and implemented a Laboratory Information Management (LIMS) system in our academic translational research laboratory and have since expanded to related research and clinical manufacturing operations. We describe examples of how the LIMS system was developed, implemented and how workflows were streamlined; and time and labour were reduced for routine data collection and management requirements, all while ensuring compliance with federal and state regulations.

Figure 1 The HIV-1 genome

microRNAs and their potential involvement in HIV infection

Genomics, Issue 3 2011 / 20 June 2011 / Guihua Sun, Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Science and Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope and John J. Rossi. Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope

Treatment and cure of human immunodeficiency virus-1(HIV-1) infection remains one of the greatest therapeutic challenges due to its persistent infection, often leading to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Although it has been 28 years since the discovery of the virus, the development of an effective vaccine is still far away. Relatively newly discovered microRNAs (miRNA) are a family of small noncoding RNAs that can regulate gene expression primarily by binding to the 3’UTR of targeted transcripts. Understanding how HIV-1 infection affects the host miRNA pathway could shed some new insights related to the basic mechanisms underlying HIV-1 mediated pathologies and T-lymphocyte depletion. Here, we review literature related to the biogenesis of HIV-1 encoded miRNAs, cellular miRNAs that can directly target HIV-1 or essential cellular factors required for HIV-1 replication. We also discuss the feasibility of using miRNAs for HIV-1 therapy.

Cancer-secreted microRNAs: Travelers, Messengers, and Blood-borne Biomarkers

Genomics, Issue 1 2010 / 22 February 2010 /

Since the first discovery of microRNA (miRNA) from C. elegans in 19931 studies of this new class of regulatory small RNA have grown rapidly and entered a new era, where they now serve as potential biomarkers and therapeutic targets in human diseases, such as cancers. Recent studies indicating that miRNAs are aberrantly expressed in cancer, are secreted by cancer cells, and are stably present in blood open a new avenue for studying cancer at the extra/intercellular level, where miRNAs serve as important cancer-released messages.

RNAi applications in biology and medicine

Issue 4 2009, Past issues / 30 July 2009 /

The field of oligonucleotide-based therapy experienced a revival with the discovery of RNA interference (RNAi) in 19981. RNAi is a conserved endogenous mechanism, which is triggered by double-stranded (ds) RNAs leading to target-specific inhibition of gene expression by promoting mRNA degradation or translational repression. There are two RNAi pathways that are guided either by small interfering RNAs (siRNAs), which are perfectly complementary to the mRNA or by microRNAs (miRNAs), which bind imperfectly to their target mRNA2. SiRNAs can also induce direct transcriptional gene silencing (TGS) in the nucleus, although the mechanisms underlying this are well understood in mammalian systems3,4.

RNAi: an attractive choice for future therapeutics

Issue 3 2007 / 23 May 2007 / John J. Rossi, Division of Molecular Biology, Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope, Graduate School of Biological Sciences, Duarte, United States

RNA interference (RNAi) is a regulatory mechanism of most eukaryotic cells that uses small double stranded RNA (dsRNA) molecules as triggers to direct homology-dependent control of gene activity (Almeida and Allshire 2005).


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