LSB2018 Brought to Life a New Partnership Which Is Improving Cancer Research

2020-01-13
LSB2018 Brought to Life a New Partnership Which Is Improving Cancer Research

During the Life Sciences Baltics 2018 Carl Zeiss Microscopy established strong relationships with scientists from Vilnius Life Science University Centre and Lithuanian National Pathology Centre. Currently there are two ongoing  projects with Proteomics Centre – one of them has already helped  improving applications in cancer research.

“At the University of Vilnius the scientific focus of Dr. Mindaugas Valius and Nadežda Dreižė is on protein biomarkers and their characterization or localization respectively. Apart from biochemical methods the visualization of proteins using confocal laser scanning microscopy and a subsequent evaluation of these images is an approach to understand the functions of the biomarkers of interest.. The implementation of an end to end workflow on APEER enabled the team to identify the detection and shift of the respective labelling signals within single Before an automated solution on Apeer was available the identification of cells had to be done manually and only an unprecise estimation of the signals spatial distribution was possible”.

Ilja Karanin, Senior Software Developer at Carl Zeiss Microscopy, explains how the provided solution on APEER is helping to improve cancer research.

This fruitful collaboration with Lithuanian scientists got its origins at LSB2018 where Zeiss introduced the Apeer platform.  APEER is an open and free digital microscopy platform that enables creation and customization of image processing workflows for specific tasks. The platform connects microscopists, image analysts and data scientists with the goal to address current and future microscopy challenges such as fragmented software solutions, incompatible file formats, data storage and processing of large data. APEER enables automation of image processing workflows and reduces the overhead from routine tasks.

Dr. Mindaugas Valius confirms that meeting Zeiss Group representitves face to face at LSB2018 was a helpful push for their research: “Our laboratory is investigating the resistance of cancer cells to chemotherapeutic agents. We investigate the causes and mechanisms of resistance by analyzing cellular proteins and their functions. Often, in order to identify certain processes in a cell, we evaluate the localization of protein and / or its change by visualizing the protein by immunofluorescence. The processes we  observe are very delicate and require a significant number of images to be processed for analysis, therefore we began working with Zeiss hoping to speed up the analysis process. The LSB2018 event was very useful because we were able to lively discuss problems we are facing  with Zeiss  representatives and consider possible strategies to address them. After meeting at LSB2018 we continued to collaborate remotely and eventually developed a protein modification analysis tool on the APEER platform. This tool helped us to detect changes in protein modifications in the cell more accurately and efficiently, also to assess the cell’s response to genotoxic stress.”

In addition to the above mentioned successful collaboration with the Lithuanian Proteomics Centre, Zeiss has also started working on a project with  renowned Lithuanian neuroscientist Urtė Neniškytė.

In this case the APEER platform is used to automate routine tasks based on machine learning for typical neuroscience applications.

The third collaboration has been established with the Lithuanian National Pathology Centre managed by Dr. Arvydas Laurinavičius. The overall goal of this project  is to develop new analytical solutions based on AI and automate routine tasks for pathologists.

Besides the above mentioned projects I. Karanin sees a lot more potential from discussions and relationships established during LSB2018: “There are plans to organize microscopy image processing workshops and internship programs for Vilnius University students and researchers. This would help to attract young scientists to APEER , improve  the course of setting up new projects and change the way how people interact and collaborate in various life science fields.“

Mr. Karanin also points out that participating at LSB2018 brougth significant value to Zeiss as it helped to reach a wide pool of customers in the Baltics, revive the collaboration with existant partners in the Baltics, get to know personally world class scientists, work on and kick of new sales projects and attract prospering scientists to APEER.

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