Akoya Biosciences Announces Founding Members of First-of-its-Kind Imaging Innovators (I²) Network
I2 Investigators will leverage CODEX technology and the expertise of Akoya and its partners as they push the boundaries of spatial biology.
MARLBOROUGH, Mass., Nov. 02, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Akoya Biosciences Inc., (Nasdaq: AKYA) The Spatial Biology Company®, today announced the first members of the Akoya Imaging Innovators (I²) Network, a collaboration of pioneering scientists from world-class research organizations, with ambitions to advance the field of spatial biology.
The new members were selected from a highly competitive pool of applicants based on their contributions to and passion for applying spatial biology to cutting-edge work in research areas ranging from oncology, neuroscience, immunology, and infectious disease to developmental biology. They represent a new generation of investigators, who will be able to pursue their goals by exploring novel approaches using Akoya’s CODEX platform for single-cell spatial phenotyping and analysis.
Akoya established the program to encourage leaders in diverse fields of research to pursue disruptive applications within spatial phenotyping. “Participating in the I2 Network will not only enable us to incorporate single-cell spatial phenotyping into our tissue mapping toolbox, but also to collaborate with Akoya to ensure CODEX hardware and software is compatible with a broad range of analysis and visualization technologies,” said Dr. Omer Bayraktar, a leading cellular geneticist, who is based at the Wellcome Sanger Institute. Bayraktar is studying neural cell-type diversity in the human cerebral cortex using a combination of large-scale spatial transcriptomics, cyclic RNA imaging, and functional screening approaches.
Dr. Ruixuan Gao, who established his first lab at the University of Illinois Chicago this year, represents the kind of forward-thinking early career researcher that Akoya is excited to support through the I2 Network. “We develop chemical, physical, and biomolecular tools that map and track these molecular building blocks at their natural length scale and temporal resolution,” said Gao. “We apply state-of-the-art methods in light/electron microscopy, bioengineering, and computational sciences to a range of biological questions at the molecular scale. Spatial phenotyping is one of the tools we will rely on as we strive to elucidate structures and processes central to human health and disease.” Gao did his post-doctoral work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Dr. Ed Boyden’s Synthetic Neurology group developing tools to map the molecular architecture and wiring of the brain.
“Akoya is excited to foster transformative research and applications for spatial phenotyping through the I2 Network," said Brian McKelligon, CEO at Akoya Biosciences. “We developed CODEX as an extremely flexible system to ignite innovation for faster biological discovery. Access to this technology and supporting software will enable these imaging pioneers to provide new insights into how we can capture the complexity of biology and disease pathophysiology.”
The I2 Network will include the following researchers:
- Omer Bayraktar, PhD, Cellular Genetics Scientific Group Leader, Wellcome Sanger Institute | Neurodevelopmental and Psychiatric Disorders
- Sami Farhi, PhD, Senior Research Scientist, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard | Optical Profiling of Spatial Organization of Tissues and High-Content Optical Screens
- David Gray, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer, Inscopix | Neural Activity and Neurotransmitter Dynamics
- Sinem K Saka, PhD, Group Leader, European Molecular Biology Laboratory | High-Dimensional Investigation of Cellular Organization
- Sizun Jiang, PhD, Principal Investigator, Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center | Immuno-oncology and Infectious Disease
- Ruixuan Gao, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Illinois Chicago | Neurobiology and Development of Biomolecular Tools
- Cezary Ciszewski, PhD, Technical Director, University of Chicago | Human Disease and Immune Discovery
All these investigators, who already have or plan to purchase CODEX systems, will be invited to join an exclusive community to collaborate with other I2 researchers and Akoya subject matter experts. Akoya’s technology partners will offer additional application support for specialized imaging platforms, such as confocal or super resolution microscopes, as well as for custom antibody panel content and design. Network members will also have first access to pre-release CODEX tools and may influence future product strategy.
More about the CODEX system can be found at www.akoyabio.com/codex.
About Akoya Biosciences
As The Spatial Biology Company®, Akoya Biosciences’ mission is to bring context to the world of biology and human health through the power of spatial phenotyping. The company offers comprehensive single-cell imaging solutions that allow researchers to phenotype cells with spatial context and visualize how they organize and interact to influence disease progression and treatment response. Akoya offers two distinct solutions, the CODEX® and Phenoptics™ platforms, to serve the diverse needs of researchers across discovery, translational and clinical research. To learn more about Akoya, visit www.akoyabio.com
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