2D image and 3D reconstruction of HIV-infected dendritic cell, imaged by FIB-SEM. Kedar Narayan, Ph.D.

FREDERICK, Md. -- Hundreds of science and business professionals are expected to attend the second annual Technology Showcase at the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research, scheduled for June 13. 

The event will feature technologies being developed at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the Frederick National Laboratory to encourage startup company formation, technology licensing, and collaborations. 

Five Frederick National Laboratory scientists are scheduled to present their work on advanced technologies and their applications in addressing some of the most urgent and intractable problems in cancer research. 

Matt Holderfield, Ph.D., Cancer Research Technology Program, will discuss his work on the RAS Initiative, which was established by the NCI to create an open model of collaboration among government, academic, and industry researchers to identify new, creative approaches to the complex issue of RAS. 

KRAS mutations are found in 20-30% of all human cancers, yet no drugs have been developed to treat these patients. The RAS Initiative has developed assays, tools, and reagents to discover and profile novel inhibitors of KRAS mutated tumors as well as in vitro systems that can be used to study the basic biology of KRAS proteins. Some of the tools are available for licensing and the RAS Initiative is actively seeking external collaborators to codevelop novel therapeutics. 

Kedar Narayan, Ph.D., Cancer Research Technology Program, will be showcasing the latest advances made in FIB-SEM, an electron microscopic technique that allows nanoscale 3-D imaging of cells and tissue. This technique has enabled highly detailed observation of large viruses, mammalian cells, and tissue samples and could help researchers develop novel hypotheses and new discoveries in a wide variety of biological applications. 

Josip Blonder, M.D., Cancer Research Technology Program, will present his work on Renal Carcinoma biomarkers. Renal Cell Carcinoma is the most common type of kidney cancer. Blonder’s invention describes the identification of potential renal cancer biomarkers that could be utilized in the development of renal cancer diagnostics, personalized treatment, follow-up, and prognostics. 

Uma Mudunuri, M.S., Advanced Biomedical Computing Center, will showcase innovative technical solutions developed at the Frederick National Laboratory for large scale scientific data access and integration. These include generating interactive dashboards for clinical analytics and creating patient cohorts from any clinical data, modules for sharing data with the research community, automatically updating biological databases each day, and enhanced search modules for easier access to scientific data. 

Raj Chari, Ph.D., Laboratory Animal Sciences Program, will discuss gene editing in cancer research. Chari’s work centers around providing advice, training, and reagents to NCI scientists seeking to utilize CRISPR, a tool used to edit pieces of a cell’s DNA, and to generate genome modifications in primary cells, cell lines, and animal models.  

Now in its second year, the Technology Showcase has expanded to a full-day event and is expected to bring together technology development professionals from across the region. For a detailed agenda, visit the NCI Technology Transfer Center website

By Max Cole, staff writer

Image: 2D image and 3D reconstruction of HIV-infected dendritic cell, imaged by FIB-SEM. Kedar Narayan, Ph.D.