For use in the medical school's spinal cord injury research. During the project, scientists will integrate Thermo Scientific Nautilus LIMS with other Thermo Scientific instrumentation and robotics to automate the high-content screening in the laboratories of The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis at the Miller School.
The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis is the world's largest spinal cord injury research center, looking for new treatments by understanding injury mechanisms and researching treatments to prevent cell death after spinal cord injury. Vance Lemmon, Ph.D., professor of neurological surgery, co-directs the Laboratory for Axon Growth and Guidance at The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, which investigates genes involved in axon growth and guidance during nervous system development and regeneration subsequent to spinal cord injury.
"Our work is accomplished using a technology called High Content Screening, an area in which Thermo Fisher excels," said Dr. Lemmon. "High Content Screening generates very large quantities of data, which the laboratory previously managed via manual methods such as spreadsheets, notebooks, and databases."
Dr. Lemmon's experiments take advantage of extensive compound and gene collections stored in 96-well plates. The Miami Project team selected Nautilus LIMS because they believe it could help them successfully keep abreast of the large volumes of data and keep track of the reagents in hundreds of 96 well plates. During the selection process they also underscored the versatility of Nautilus and its proven ability to manage plate data and to adapt to the workflow needs of the academic laboratory.
Because of the nature of the translational clinical research underway at The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, the laboratory uses complex and rapidly changing workflows. Twenty academic research scientists work collaboratively on many different experiments, but the manual nature of their current recordkeeping makes it impossible to track and access the growing number of experimental results. Dr. Lemmon required a LIMS that could easily and rapidly capture all the data from the experiments, as well as one that could quickly identify raw materials used in the experiments since reagent quality can have a significant impact on the results. The laboratory looked at 10 LIMS suppliers and found that Thermo Scientific Nautilus offered the best plate handling tools (the laboratory uses many multi-well plates) and its workflow functionality allowed the laboratory to track its experiments and capture their complicated results in a way no other LIMS demonstrated.
"My laboratory has seen an explosion in the number of cells we analyze - to levels around 250,000 per week with hundreds of molecular treatments - and we needed to be able to access that data and analyze it to give us knowledge that was not otherwise available without the LIMS," said Dr. Lemmon. "Our academic processes are now so complex and Nautilus will give us the information we were struggling to extract."
Nautilus LIMS will sit at the heart of the laboratory's operations, and it will be integrated with Thermo Scientific Arrayscan and Cellomics KineticScan instruments and robotics. The scientists will use Nautilus LIMS to automate the high-content screens and assays including priotorized planning of experiments in the laboratory and, equally important, for raw materials inventory management to identify faulty reagent batches which are impossible to track back through paper notebooks.
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Miller School of Medicine Boilerplate
The University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, founded in 1952, was the first medical school in the state of Florida. The Miller School of Medicine is located on the 100-acre University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center complex in Miami. The medical center includes three University-owned hospitals that make up the University of Miami Health System (UHealth): University of Miami Hospital, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. Our three primary affiliated hospitals on the campus include Jackson Memorial Hospital, Holtz Children's Hospital and the Miami VA Medical Center. Miller School faculty members conduct more than 1,700 research projects in basic science and clinical care in facilities totaling more than 500,000 square feet of research space. Along with the M.D. degree, the school offers two specialized B.S./M.D. programs, a combined M.D./Ph.D. program, graduate degrees in nine areas, postdoctoral programs and continuing medical education courses.