Immunology Class Tours iRepertoire[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]
March 14, 2018
The Immunology class at Athens State University was recently treated to a tour at iRepertoire, one of the most advanced immunology research and detection companies in the world, thanks to Athens State graduate, Casey Smith. iRepertoire has created technology which allows researchers to take a molecular snapshot of the immune system, which allowed the students to experience a glimpse into the future of medical research and diagnostics in this field. From their website, “Sequencing the expressed T- and B-cell receptor genes in the immune repertoire allows for an accurate evaluation of a person’s health status and risks for different diseases.”
The Immunology course professor, Dr. Sara Cline, said, “In particular, the iR-Cassette™ is a phenomenal advance for medicinal science, providing a contained system that helps prevent the problem of contamination.” When performing sensitive techniques such as Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) on small samples, cross-contamination can be a problem. This is because the assays are very sensitive and can detect just a few strands of DNA. With the closed system, a patient’s samples can be protected from this concern, along with other concerns such as degradation, as it is being processed.
In addition to the tour, Director of Operations and R&D, Dr. Miranda Byrne-Steele, gave the students a short presentation on how their products were developed and can be used by researchers and medical professionals. During in-class discussion after the tour, students stated how fascinated they were by seeing a new type of high throughput sequencing technology based on microfluidic chips or flow cells. They were also impressed by the idea of electronics companies and biological researchers networking to solve different problems in the medical and research fields. In particular, they discussed their new awareness of the importance of Bioinformatics, the growing field of processing biological data, to a biologist’s job. It made them think about how companies such as iRepertoire are changing the face of biology, and how the jobs of scientists are changing as a result of new technologies.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]