Program Header

SLAS2018 Short Courses

3D Cell-Based Assays for Drug De-Risking

Cell-based in vitro assays are used throughout the drug discovery and development chain, allowing for high throughput efficacy but also mechanistic-based toxicity testing. A big challenge however is the translation of in vitro assays towards the in vivo outcome. Physiological relevance is a key parameter to improve the predictive power of cell-based assays. The better we can reflect tissue architecture, composition and function the more predictive an in vitro assay will become. The 3D course covers advances in 3D cell culature technologies, assays and their use in drug discovery and development.

Who Should Attend:

Industry and academic scientists with mid- to advanced-level experience in cell-based assays or cell biology wishing to get a concise overview about technologies, advantages, cost and application examples of 3D cell-based assays. Those interested in the following tracks:

How You Will Benefit From This Course:

  • Guidelines how to develop 3D cell-based assays.
  • Guidelines how to use 3D models for phenotypic drug discovery.
  • State of the art overview about current methods in the rapidly evolving field of 3D cell-based assays.
  • Solid starting point for participants interested in introducing 3D cell-based assays in their organization.
  • Gaining expertise to use advanced cell culture models for drug discovery and drug development.

Course Topics:

  • In-depth overview of 3D cell culture technologies and models: Comparison of the most important methods for 3D cell culture including hydrogel, scaffold, self-assembly, bioprinting and multi-organ devices; implementation strategies, automation, and work flows; comparison of advantages, disadvantages and cost.
  • How to adapt assays and readouts for 3D cell culture models: Using and optimizing existing biochemical assays; applying imaging technology for growth-curve measurements; histology and immune histochemistry; high-content analysis
  • Case studies for the use of 3D models in drug discovery: 3D tumor models; co-culture systems; applications in screening of large libraries; target validation, 3D-based phenotypic drug discovery
  • Case studies for the use of 3D and multi-organ models in development: Toxicology-related models derived either from primary cell sources or stem cells and their use for safety testing such as liver toxicology, inflammation-mediated toxicology


Anthony Essex

Anthony Essex

Dr. Essex is the chief scientific officer of Phenovista Biosciences, a company he co-founded with Dr. James Evans in 2014. He is a renowned cell biologist who has a background in using model organisms to understand fundamental aspects of biology.

Essex has a blend of commercial and academic experience accumulated over a fifteen year period. This includes scientist positions at biotechnology companies such as Acadia Pharmaceuticals and Vala Sciences. Recently, Essex was a key member of the scientific team developing phenotypic assays as part of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ToxCAST initiative. As CSO of Phenovista, he manages company scientific, research and technological operations and academic collaborations while overseeing all client projects .

Olivier Frey

Olivier Frey
InSphero AG

Olivier Frey leads the Technology and Platforms group at InSphero AG, Switzerland. Before joining InSphero, he was group leader at the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering of ETH Zurich, Switzerland. In the Bio Engineering Laboratory of Prof. Andreas Hierlemann he was responsible for the development of integrated microfluidic systems for single cell handling and 3D tissue cultures. Included are in particular multi-tissue systems, or so-called “Body-on-a-Chip” configurations based on 3D microtissue spheroids for microtissue culturing, analysis and interaction. Olivier Frey received his Doctoral degree in Micro Engineering from EPF Lausanne, Switzerland, Laboratory of Prof. Nico de Rooij.

Alex Ng

Alex Ng
Harvard Medical School / Harvard University

Alex Ng is a Systems Biology PhD student in Dr. George Church’s laboratory at Harvard Medical School. His research focuses on technologies to genetically engineer human tissues and cells, and uses next generation sequencing for systems-level characterization. He and his team constructed the first comprehensive human transcription factor library for stem cell differentiation and tissue engineering.

Patrick Guye

Patrick Guye
InSphero AG

Dr. Patrick Guye the chief scientific officer at InSphero. Previously, he held positions in industry (Sanofi) and academia (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton University) with focus on cell therapy, 3D cellular models/organoids, synthetic biology, human stem cell engineering, biologics and small molecules development, as well as precision genomic engineering. Patrick received his PhD in Molecular Infection Biology from the University of Basel.

Terry Riss

Terry Riss
Promega Corporation

Dr. Terry Riss started the Cell Biology program at Promega in 1990 and held several R&D and Project Management positions since. Dr. Riss managed development of cell viability, cytotoxicity, apoptosis, and protease assay systems and also lead efforts to identify and promote multiplexing of cell-based assays to determine the mechanism of cell death. Dr. Riss now serves as Global Strategic Manager, Cell Health involved in outreach educational training activities. Dr. Riss has participated in several NIH study sections reviewing HTS grants and is co-editor of the In Vitro Cell Based Assays section of the Assay Guidance Manual hosted by NIH.

Our Sponsors

  • Hamilton
  • Artel
  • Corning
  • Waters
  • Agilent
  • Beckman Coulter
  • Cosmo Biotechnologies
  • Hamamatsu
  • Labcyte
  • Miltenyi Biotec
  • Tecan
  • ThermoFisher Scientific
  • Biotek
  • BMG Labtech
  • Eppendorf
  • Molecular Devices
  • Scinomix
  • Select Science
  • StemoniX
  • Analytik Jena
  • Clinical Lab Products
  • Gilson
  • HighRes Biosolutions
  • IMI Precision
  • LGC
  • Phoseon Technology
  • Brooks Life Sciences
  • Covaris
  • Inheco
  • Multispan
  • Sartorius
  • American Laboratory
  • Biocompare
  • Cell Press
  • DDN News
  • DDW
  • DTR
  • GEN News
  • Integrative Biology
  • Labcompare
  • LabManager
  • Lab on a Chip
  • RSC
  • SCW
  • SelectScience
  • Technology Networks
  • TAS
  • The Scientist
  • The Translational Scientist