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McKelvey School of Engineering

Brown School

BME Seminar: Melissa Skala, PhD

Thursday, November 3, 2022 | 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Uncas A. Whitaker Hall, 218
6760 Forest Park Pkwy, St. Louis, MO 63105, USA

Presenting on “Label-free optical microscopy of T cell and stem cell metabolism”

Melissa Skala, PhD, Professor of Biomedical Engineering, University of Wisconsin–Madison; Investigator, Morgridge Institute for Research, will speak on Thursday, November 3, 2022 at 10:00 am CST in Whitaker 218.

Abstract: T cell and stem cell manufacturing are two major components of the cell therapy market. However, cost-effective and time-efficient technologies are needed to monitor the quality of of cells during biomanufacturing. We have developed a non-invasive and label-free live cell imaging platform to monitor T cell function and predict the efficiency of stem cell differentiation at a single-cell level. Fluorescence lifetime imaging of the metabolic co-enzymes NAD(P)H and FAD was coupled with single cell segmentation and prospective classification algorithms. This approach identified T cell activation and function with high accuracy, and predicted stem cell differentiation efficiency early (day 1) with high accuracy. This non-invasive and label-free method could be used monitor cell manufacturing for T cell and stem cell therapies, reducing the cost and time to produce these therapies while improving potency and consistency.

Event Type



McKelvey School of Engineering


Science & Technology, Medicine & Health

Biomedical Engineering


Event Contact

Mimi Hilburg | mhilburg@wustl.edu

Speaker Information

Melissa Skala received her B.S. in Physics at Washington State University, her M.S. in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin - Madison, then completed her Ph.D. and postdoctoral training in Biomedical Engineering at Duke University before starting her lab at Vanderbilt University. She is an Investigator at the Morgridge Institute for Research and a Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Her lab develops biomedical optical imaging technologies for cancer research, cell therapy, and immunology.

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