Dr. Bruno Sainz, a recognized Ramón y Cajal Investigator who recently joined the Department of Biochemistry and the Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas at the Autónoma University of Madrid (UAM) has won the ThermoFisher-sponsored 2015 Attune NxT Flow Cytometry Grant Program with the project entitled, "Development of a state-of-the-art liquid biopsy assay for the detection of circulating cancer stem cells fused to macrophages in human blood samples". This award means that Dr. Sainz and his group will receive a 4-laser state-of-the-art Attune NxT flow cytometer, which incorporates the revolutionary technology of acoustic cell focussing, creating a pre-focused narrow core stream of cells allowing for the detection of very rare cell populations with uniform laser illumination (Link).
The cytometer will be officially donated in a public event on December 1st at the School of Medicine with the participation of the Vice Rector of Investigation and the Dean of the School of Medicine of the UAM.
As part of the Department of Biochemistry, Dr. Sainz plans to focus his research efforts on pancreatic cancer, cancer stem cells and the tumor fibroinflammtaory microenvironment in order to better understand the cellular and environmental mechanisms that drive tumor formation and metastasis. This prize will specifically help Dr. Sainz study and dissect the small cancer stem cell population present in solid tumors, which often represent only 1-5% of the total tumor cell population, making it difficult to identify these cells using conventional cytometers.
Applications from more than 20 countries were received, with themes ranging from diabetes to neuroscience. The jury selected Dr. Sainz's project based on its focus, conceptuality, innovation, creativity, viability and its potential impact on the scientific and public health community. Thermo Fisher Scientific, a leader in scientific and medical instrumentation, organized this 1st Attune NxT Flow Cytometry Grant Program with the primary objective of fostering scientific investigation in the life sciences field. The applicants were asked to design a project that would require the use of the Attune NxT Flow Cytometry with acoustic focusing technology to achieve the goals of their projects.