Dr. Najah Abi-Gerges, Vice President of Research and Development at AnaBios, presents new research recently published in Nature Scientific Reports focusing on arrhythmogenic and antiarrhythmic actions of late sustained sodium current in the adult human heart in this 30-minute webinar. Dr. Abi-Gerges discusses the critical role of late sustained sodium current in human heart arrhythmia, as well as the implications of findings suggesting that its inhibition could provide an effective therapeutic strategy.

Dr. John Del Rosario, Postdoctoral Research Associate at Gereau Lab at the Washington University Pain Center, presents this webinar that examines the endogenous and exogenous mechanisms that modulate activity of Piezo2 and Ca2+- selective transient receptor potential vanilloid 5 (TRPV5) channels. Piezo2 channels have been identified as key players in mechanotransduction of light touch and proprioception in humans and mice. Dr. Del Rosario will explore the endogenous mechanisms that regulate the activity of Piezo2 after activation of Gi-protein coupled receptors. He will also discusses how exogenous modulators regulate TRPV5 channels, which are essential for calcium reabsorption and homeostasis in the kidney.

Dr. Scott MacDonnell, Associate Director of Cardiovascular and Fibrosis Research at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, presented new research focusing on the use of single cell sequencing to identify cell populations from fibrotic tissue in this hour-long webinar. Dr. MacDonnell and his team used an unbiased single cell RNA-sequencing analysis of a bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis model to characterize molecular responses to fibrotic injury. Lung cells were isolated to capture emerging fibrosis and gene expression was analyzed by three complementary techniques which together generated a 49-gene signature that defined an activated subpopulation of fibroblasts. However, none of the identified genes were specific to the activated cells or disease setting, implying that the activated fibroblasts are not uniquely defined but exhibit a similar—yet amplified—gene expression pattern to control cells.

Dr. Arthur Feldman, Professor of Medicine at Temple University, discusses the role of BAG3 in dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in this hour-long webinar. Recently, subpopulations of patients have been identified that develop DCM due to mutations in specific genes that have been shown to result in the development of DCM—one of those being the BAG3 gene. Dr. Feldman discusses how the development of a gene replacement therapy for patients with DCM that carry BAG3 mutations could potentially prevent progression of the disease in otherwise healthy young adults. Dr. Feldman is an internationally renowned cardiologist who served as Executive Dean of the Temple University School of Medicine from 2011-2016.

In this hour-long webinar, Dr. Rob Gereau, Vice-Chair for Research at the Washington University Pain Center, describes preclinical studies in rodents identifying key nodes of sensitization in pain pathways that his research team is targeting for the development of potential new analgesics. He also discusses the use of human sensory neurons as a critical translational research tool.

In this hour-long webinar, Dr. Tamer Mohamed, Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Louisville’s Institute of Molecular Cardiology, discusses recent research in which he led a team that developed functional human and pig heart slice biomimetic culture systems that preserve the viability and functionality of heart slices for up to six days. He also discusses the reliability of this culture system for testing the cardiotoxicity of anti-cancer drugs.

In this hour-long webinar, Dr. Carol Meloto, General Dentist and Assistant Dentistry Professor at McGill University, discussed how our understanding of the mechanisms underlying the risk of having and of developing temporomandibular disorders—the most frequent forms of chronic orofacial pain—have evolved in the past decade. She also discusses her current work focused on applying these recent advances to improve diagnosis and prognosis for chronic orofacial pain patients.

Dr. William Renthal, Director of Research at the John R. Graham Headache Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Assistant Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, presents our webinar, “Flexible Identity of Peripheral Sensory Neurons After Axonal Injury.” Primary somatosensory neurons are specialized to transmit specific types of sensory information. By profiling sensory ganglia at single-cell resolution, Dr. Renthal’s team discovered that all somatosensory neuronal subtypes undergo a transcriptional response to peripheral nerve injury that both promotes axonal regeneration and suppresses cell identity. This transcriptional reprogramming, which is not observed in non-neuronal cells, resolves over a similar time course as target reinnervation and is associated with the restoration of original cell identity.

Stream our latest pain research webinar, “Kappa Opioid Receptors in Chronic Pain & Associated Affective Disorders,” presented by Dr. Catherine Cahill, Director of the Pain & Addiction Lab at the University of California, Los Angeles. Pain is composed of two essential processes: a sensory component that allows for discrimination of the intensity and location of a painful stimulus and an emotional component that underlies the affective, motivational, unpleasant and aversive response to a painful stimulus. Kappa opioid receptor (KOR) activation throughout the neuroaxis modulates both of these components of the pain experience. In this webinar, Dr. Cahill presented recent findings that KORs contribute to the emotional, aversive nature of chronic pain, including how expression in the limbic circuitry contributes to anhedonic states and components of opioid misuse disorder.

Jouko Levijoki, Senior Research Scientist at Orion Corporation, presents new heart failure research published in the British Journal of Pharmacology and co-authored by AnaBios scientists in our new webinar, “Discovery & Characterization of ORM-11372 (A Unique and Positive Inotropic Sodium-Calcium Exchanger/Inhibitor): Implications for Heart Failure Drug Discovery.” The lack of selective sodium-calcium exchanger (NCX) inhibitors has hampered the exploration of physiological and pathophysiological roles of cardiac NCX 1.1. Levijoki and his team aimed to discover a more potent and selective drug like NCX 1.1. inhibitor. ORM-11372, a unique, novel, and potent inhibitor of human and rat NCX 1.1, is a positive inotropic compound. NCX inhibition can induce clinically relevant improvements in left ventricular contractions without affecting relaxation, heart rate or blood pressure–without pro-arrhythmic risk.

Peripheral neuropathy (PN) is the most common complication of type 2 diabetes (T2D) and prediabetes. Patients with PN experience a length-dependent loss of sensation in their limbs due to peripheral nerve damage. The severity of PN in T2D and prediabetic patients correlates with dyslipidemia, indicating that dietary fatty acids contribute to PN pathogenesis. In this webinar, Dr. Amy Rumora, Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Michigan School of Medicine, presents research that examines the impact of dietary saturated fatty acids (SFAs) and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) on nerve function in a murine model of prediabetes. The data suggests that SFA-induced mitochondrial dysfunction contributes to PN development, and that MUFAs restore nerve function and prevent mitochondrial dysfunction through lipid droplet formation.

CEO Dr. Andre Ghetti “Novel Tools for Translational Research: Ex Vivo Human Models for Advancing Pain & Itch Drug Discovery,” as part of Neuroservices-Alliance’s ongoing webinar series. Dr. Ghetti highlights AnaBios’ unique expertise in ex vivo studies of human pharmacology in normal and pathological states. He also discusses how AnaBios’ unique human tissue platform can be used in the context of drug discovery targeting pain and itch.

Dr. Stanley Nattel, Professor of Medicine at the University of Montreal, and Dr. Najah Abi-Gerges, Vice President of Research & Development at AnaBios, co-presented our webinar, “Evolving Concepts of Atrial Fibrillation Mechanisms: Relevance to Therapeutic Innovation.” In this hour-long presentation, Dr. Nattel discussed evolving conceptual models of atrial fibrillation (AF) and their therapeutic implications. Dr. Abi-Gerges gave a short presentation on AnaBios’ unique human AF platform.Other presentation topics included:

• Competing models of AF mechanisms and their practical differences
• Electrically active drugs for AF termination and prevention
• The possibility of prevention of the AF substrate
• Recent findings that point to the important role of inflammation in AF

In our latest pain research webinar, Dr. Laura Stone, anesthesiology professor at the University of Minnesota, presents findings on low back pain that involve both human and animal models. She discusses dysregulation of nerve growth factor and immune mediators in human cerebrospinal fluid and intervertebral discs obtained from patients vs. controls. She also explores proof-of-concept studies targeting these mechanisms in a pre-clinical model of low back pain, and presents human and animal study data implicating epigenetic mechanisms in chronic pain.

Pain is the chief morbidity that severely decreases the quality of life of patients who suffer from sickle cell disease (SCD). Many also suffer from chronic pain that may result from chronic inflammation and dysregulated neuronal firing and connectivity within the peripheral and central nervous system. In this webinar, Dr. Cheryl Stucky, Director of the Neuroscience Doctoral Program at the Medical College of Wisconsin, discusses her lab’s work interrogating peripheral mechanisms underlying sickle cell pain by using rodent models of SCD in combination with electrophysiological, cellular and behavioral assays. She also discusses her work with colleagues to investigate phenotypes and mechanisms of pain in patients with sickle cell disease.

There is an urgent need for new therapeutics to address chronic pain, which affects approximately 20% of U.S. adults. This 60-minute webinar, presented by Dr. Ted Price, neuroscience professor at the University of Texas at Dallas, focused on utilizing human dorsal root ganglia (DRG) samples from patients and organ donors to gain new insight into the molecular mechanisms that may underlie chronic pain. Dr. Price also discusses integrating sensory neuronal transcriptomics with other datasets more widely available from patients to better understand how the nervous system interacts with diseased tissues to promote chronic pain. This unique approach offers opportunities to thoroughly vet pain targets without relying heavily on pre-clinical models.

Respiratory complications are the primary cause of hospitalization in COVID-19 patients, with complex interactions between the virus, lung epithelial cells and immune cells leading to severe acute respiratory syndrome. As scientists race to develop therapeutics to fight the virus, it is important to have research tools available that provide highly translatable data. The precision cut lung slice (PCLS) discussed in this hour-long webinar, presented by Harvard professors Dr. Rama Krishnan and Dr. Joseph Brain, are an advanced paradigm for translational lung research and are an effective preparation for advancing lung-related physiology.  Additional practical advantages of PCLS includes its ease of preparation, ease of storage (via cryopreservation), suitability for high-resolution microscopy imaging and inclusion of many species, particularly human.

Dr. Najah Abi-Gerges, Vice President of Research & Development at AnaBios, presents the first research study on the impact of late sodium current (INa,L) modulation on the excitation-contraction coupling in adult human primary cardiomyocytes in this new webinar. This data demonstrates that these human cardiomyocytes (1) express functional INa,L, (2) can differentiate INa,L facilitators from inhibitors and (3) provide valuable assessment of novel INa,L inhibitors to prevent the occurrence of drug-induced pro-arrhythmia and aid in the development of dysrhythmia medications. In addition, this 60-minute webinar presents information about AnaBios’ unique human tissue platform and electrophysiological and imaging capabilities. We are the only CRO that procures ethically consented human organs from a vast donor network in the United States. We also perform physiological assays using the cells and tissues from these organs. Learn about the different types of human tissue and cell-based assays and how translational assays are impacting preclinical drug discovery.

Dr. Michael Hildebrand, associate professor of neuroscience at Carleton University, highlights his recent work aimed at bridging the translational divide between target identification in rodent models of chronic pain and direct clinical testing of candidate compounds in humans. His research team has developed a novel human spinal cord tissue model of pathological pain that parallels rodent in vivo and ex vivo pain models. Using these complementary approaches, Dr. Hildebrand and his team are identifying molecular determinants of spinal cord hyperexcitability that are conserved across species, and thus may inform the rational development of more effective therapeutics for chronic pain.

Dr. Cesare Terracciano, professor of cardiac electrophysiology at Imperial College London, presents “Myocardial Slices as Novel Discovery Model to Study Biology of the Human Heart.” In this 45-minute webinar, Dr. Terracciano discusses the limitations of the current cardiac models and unmet needs. He also summarizes his work to develop myocardial slice preparation methodology, and outlines its unique advantages and applications for translational cardiovascular science and drug testing.
Dr. Patrick Dougherty, professor in cancer research at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, presents original pain research in AnaBios’ webinar, “Treatment Targets for Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy: Clues from Studies on Ectopic Spontaneous Activity.” Dr. Dougherty’s research indicates that spontaneous activity in human dorsal root ganglia (DRG) neurons is linked to reports of neuropathic pain from the patients who donated their organs for the study.
In this 30-minute webinar, CEO Andre Ghetti introduces a new human translational strategy for advancing analgesic drug discovery based on utilizing primary human peripheral neurons to assess a drug candidate’s potential efficacy. This human-focused translational paradigm bypasses risks related to cross-species differences and enables the study of drug effects in the context of pathological pain states.
In this informative, 30-minute webinar, Dr. Najah Abi-Gerges, Vice President of Research & Development at AnaBios, presents human adult primary cardiomyocyte research for cardiac safety assessment. During the presentation, Dr. Abi-Gerges addresses novel approaches enabling the study of primary human cardiomyocytes,  and their use for assessing cardiac safety. Other topics include:
  • Pro-arrhythmia & contractility risk
  • Human primary atrial cells in atrial fibrillation drug discovery
  • Advancing the understanding of heart failure and new therapies with human primary ventricular myocytes and tissues