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NCBiotech Funding Helps Western NC Life Scientists

 UNC Asheville biology professor Ted Meigs celebrates the arrival of a new flow cytometer funded with help from NCBiotech. -- UNC Asheville photo

A $76,527 Institutional Development Grant from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center earlier in 2017 has given Western North Carolina university scientists and students access to an important new research tool.

The grant allowed UNC Asheville to purchase a CytoFlex flow cytometer, a laser-based, biophysical technology employed in cell counting, cell sorting, biomarker detection and protein engineering.

“The CytoFlex allows us to analyze thousands of human cells per second, and gathers multiple types of data from each cell as an individual reading,” said Thomas Edward “Ted” Meigs, Ph.D., GlaxoSmithKline Professor of Molecular and Chemical Biology at UNC Asheville. “We can use it to measure the levels of DNA and other specific molecules in individual cells, and to study interactions of fluorescence-labeled proteins in living cells.”

Meigs served as principal investigator for the grant, with Joseph Martinez of f(x) Immune Diagnostics, a biotechnology company located at the A-B Tech Enka campus, and Kinta Serve, assistant professor of biology at Mars Hill University, serving as co-investigators. Researchers and students from all the partnering institutions will have training and access to the flow cytometer.

“We are grateful to NCBiotech for funding the purchase of this equipment, which provides a major advance in the types of cell biological projects that can be undertaken by my lab and others in the WNC region,” Meigs said. UNC Asheville matched a portion of the cost of the flow cytometer, and CytoFlex manufacturer Beckman Coulter offered an educational discount on the flow cytometer, which typically costs upwards of $100,000.

“This is a good example of the many ways NCBiotech transforms North Carolina’s life science opportunities into economic prosperity through innovation, commercialization, education and business growth,” said Jonathan Snover, Ph.D., executive director of NCBiotech’s Western Office, also in Asheville.

Meigs is a member of the NCBiotech Western Office Advisory Committee, as is Michael Hickey, president and CEO of f(x) Immune. In 2016 NCBiotech provided $75,000 in funding to help bootstrap the company.

Comments

Great job by the whole team. We wish Ted all the best as he explores and educates. Cheers Mike H.

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