A central aspect of TransPOT is the improvement of available institutional infrastructure through the acquisition of state-of-the-art equipment to enhance basic and clinical research in major diseases. An established Translational Medical Research Facility will accommodate this equipment and provide the local biomedical community with centralized, core resources necessary for high quality translational research.

TransPOT will help redevelop a Translational Medical Research Facility in the scientific areas of genomics and cell therapy/regenerative medicine. This will involve upgrading of the current Genomics Laboratory and the installation of a robotic real-time PCR system for high-throughput analyses. This powerful tool will permit the analysis of gene and microRNA expression levels, detection and quantitation of pathogens and allelic discrimination assays.

To complement the use of this equipment, TransPOT will also fund a multi-tasking Laser Capture Microdissector (LCM). This equipment is used to the isolation of particular cell types within a tissue, which is a powerful tool when combined with genomic analysis. The microscope system can be used for fixed material and also live material. Using living cells for this type of research is especially advantageous as it enables the analysis and cultivation of rare primary or stem cells without the risk of dilution or contamination of other cell types. Real-time monitoring of phenotypic changes and isolation/manipulation of specific cells is an exciting technology which will be possible using the LCM. The capabilities of this platform are further enhanced by an automated adherent cell microinjection system.

The UOC currently uses many unique transgenic models which mimic acute or chronic inflammatory, infectious and malignant diseases in humans. These provide researchers with tools to understand the aetiology and pathological progression of these diseases. Additionally they are instrumental in establishing proof-of-concept for clinical trials and the successful development of novel therapies. TransPOT will upgrade and extend the UOC's models facility, enabling work to be expanded in our model systems. By aiming to unravel the specific patterns of gene expression which determine cellular identity and response, the acquisition of a qPCR and LCM will have a hugely positive impact on the research potential of disease pathogenesis in animal models.

The programme will also fund the set up of a new GMP Cell Therapy research and development laboratory. These state-of-the-art facilities will be available to all the participants of TransPOT through specialized personnel trained to operate these services, which will enhance the capacity of our research teams for cutting edge research relevant to patient diagnosis and treatment.

TransPOT funding will assist a wide spectrum of translational research activities including target gene identification, pre-clinical testing, drug discovery, development and application of cell-based therapies, concept discovery and modeling in various diseases. The investment in this Translational Medical Research Facility will bring UOC to the forefront of translational medical research.

Genomics Lab
The award of the TransPOT grant has allowed us to acquire a state-of-the-art laser capture microdissection system and a robotic real-time PCR system for mid and high-throughput analyses. Trained personnel funded by TransPOT ensure the professional use of this equipment and aids users to optimize their experiments when using the facilities.
GMP Cell Therapy Unit
The GMP cell processing unit consists of four positive air-pressure modular clean-rooms covering a total surface of 35m2 inside the main building of the Medical School.
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Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) School of Medicine, University of Crete School of Medicine, University of Crete