Baylor College of Medicine to utilize spatial genomics tools to continue research into retinal disease
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Vizgen, the life science company dedicated to improving human health by visualizing single-cell spatial genomics information, today announced that it has installed its 100th MERSCOPE instrument in the Single Cell Genomics Core at the Baylor College of Medicine Department of Molecular and Human Genetics led by Dr. Rui Chen. The Core, an early adopter of the Alpha MERSCOPE® platform, relies on the spatial genomics technology to better understand the connection between genetic variants and visual disorders.
Genetics plays an important role in human visual disorders which affect more than 30 million people in the United States alone1. The Chen lab aims at characterizing the genetic factors underlying neural diseases in the human visual system, including both inherited and age related retinal degenerative diseases. The team uses combination of next generation sequencing, single-cell omics, patient derived iPSC, retinal organoid, mice and non-human primate models, machine learning and deep learning technologies.
“With genetics playing a critical role in human visual disorders, Vizgen’s MERSCOPE Platform has helped advance our ability to characterize and understand the genetic factors underlying the neural degenerative diseases of the retina,” said Professor Rui Chen, Ph.D. “We gained early access to the platform during its development phase and have found its sensitivity and resolution to be important in our research to shed new light on retinal disease.”
Dr. Chen is a Professor of Molecular and Human Genetics and Director of the Center of Single Cell Omics at the Baylor College of Medicine. He served as one of the earliest adopters of MERSCOPE with one of Vizgen’s Alpha units, using the technology to create a cell atlas of the mouse retina at single-cell resolution. Dr. Chen’s research has been published in journals such as Nature Communications, Genome Biology, and Cell Genomics. The preprint “Spatial organization of the mouse retina at single cell resolution” currently available on BioRxiv, describes the profiling over 100,000 cells, uncovering the spatial distribution of all major retina cell types with over 100 cell subtypes.
“It is extremely gratifying that Dr. Chen will be the recipient of the 100th installation of our MERSCOPE Platform as a longstanding supporter of Vizgen and the power of spatial imaging,” said Terry Lo, President and CEO of Vizgen. “Dr. Chen is part of a growing group of researchers utilizing our technology to perform ground-breaking research in neurobiology, oncology, and immunology. With over 115 original manuscripts currently either published or in preprint, we are so proud that Vizgen continues to be the spatial genomics platform for empowering important scientific discoveries.”
In January 2023 Vizgen celebrated the one-year anniversary of the commercial launch of the MERSCOPE Platform as the first-ever single-cell, high-plex spatial genomics platform. Powered by MERFISH technology, it provides industry leading detection efficiency and resolution for spatially profiling the transcriptome, from whole tissue sections to single-cell and even sub-cellular imaging.
Vizgen is dedicated to pioneering the next generation of genomics, providing tools that demonstrate the possibilities of in situ single-cell spatial genomics, setting the standard for the spatial genomics field. These tools are enabling researchers to gain new insight into the biological systems that govern human health and disease with spatial context. The company’s MERSCOPE® Platform enables massively multiplexed, genome-scale nucleic acid imaging with high accuracy and unrivaled detection efficiency at subcellular resolution. MERSCOPE provides transformative insight into a wide range of tissue-scale basic research and translational medicine in oncology, immunology, neuroscience, infectious disease, developmental biology, cell and gene therapy, and is an essential tool for accelerating drug discovery and development. For more information, go to www.vizgen.com. Connect on social media Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.
- Prevent Blindness America and National Eye Institute. Vision Problems in the U.S. 2012