FIND Cell is a new tool that digitizes cell culture to enable reproducible biomedical science

NEW YORK, May 19, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Lack of reproducibility is a critical problem in biomedical science, wasting both time…

NEW YORK, May 19, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Lack of reproducibility is a critical problem in biomedical science, wasting both time and billions of dollars every year. The Correspondence «Tracking cell lineages improves research reproducibility», published today in Nature Biotechnology, lays the scientific foundation for a brand-new software platform called FIND Cell; a unique tool that aims to improve reproducibility of cell-based science.

FIND Cell (available at https://findgen.bio/) integrates daily cell line tracking with genetic verification. It enables scientists to digitize, organise, verify, and find their cell culture related information – which is critical for biomedical research.

FIND Cell was co-created by molecular cell biologist Sophie Zaaijer PhD, and computational biologist Tyler Joseph PhD. They formed a joint collaboration after noticing an opportunity: Dr Zaaijer says: «Most cell tracking is done using pen and paper or Excel spreadsheets. Such de-centralized, manual methods are prone to error and are inefficient in collaborative laboratory environments. Cell technologies are evolving rapidly — such as CRISPR and organoid technologies — but tools to track these high-value assets are lacking.»

Dr Joseph comments: «We found a way to help solve the reproducibility crisis, and at the same time support scientists in the lab.» Dr Joseph continues: «It is heartbreaking when you hear the individual stories of researchers, junior and senior, who had to throw away years of work because they unknowingly received an incorrect cell line from a collaborating lab a decade earlier. This not only wastes money and time – it is psychologically very tough. Scientists are passionate about their work and results.»

To understand and serve the workflows needed for a wide variety of cell types – including cancer cells, stem cells, organoids, and primary cultures –Dr. Zaaijer and Dr Joseph worked with a variety of scientists from major NYC universities and pharmaceutical industry to discuss their preferences and needs. ‘Working with these highly driven and smart scientists is enriching and motivating; it became clear we created something that matters,» Zaaijer says.

«According to our users, FIND Cell saves time on a day-to-day basis and reduces the risk of experimental failures,» says Dr Joseph. «We currently have scientists across 13 top tier universities and institutions actively using FIND Cell. We are happy to see their interest and the rapid adoption across institutions.»

Training

The team provides online interactive cell culture workshops for cell biologists. They developed a training method to consciously reflect on current cell culture habits, and discover opportunities to optimise day-to-day efficiency and accuracy. 

FIND Cell is increasingly used to train new (PhD) students. Dr Zaaijer says: «It lowers the time commitment for PhD students, Postdocs and Principal Investigators (PIs), promotes consistency in training, and standardizes laboratory workflow protocols. We are excited our platform contributes to teach the new generation. They are the future of science.»

FIND Cell is cloud-based and freely available for Academic laboratories. Academic scientists can create their laboratory account via the findgen.bio website.

This press release is released in parallel with the publication of the Correspondence, «Tracking cell lineages to improve research reproducibility» in Nature Biotechnology today. The manuscript is co-authored by Sophie Zaaijer, PhD, affiliated with Cornell Tech and co-founder of FIND Genomics, Simon «Niels» Groen, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher in evolutionary biology at New York University, and Neville Sanjana, PhD, Core Faculty Member at the New York Genome Center and Assistant Professor of Biology, Neuroscience and Physiology at New York University.

FIND Genomics (findgen.bio) was co-founded by Dr Sophie Zaaijer, PhD, and Dr Tyler Joseph, PhD. They created FIND Cell, a software platform that integrates cell line tracking and management with genetic verifications. The company’s mission is to accelerate biomedicine through reproducible cell-based science, working closely with the scientific community and broader stakeholders to find optimal solutions to achieve their goals. FIND Genomics is a New York City-based start-up company that is incubated and backed by Cornell Tech.

Media: For more information on the Nature Biotechnology paper or on FIND Genomics, please send an email to: media@findgen.bio 

Inquiries for online cell culture workshops: To ask about workshops, please send an email to training@findgen.bio 

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SOURCE FIND Genomics