Bruce Bean and Clifford Woolf Labs at Harvard Medical School Acquire QPatch Compact
After a beta testing period of Sophion’s new semi-automated patch-clamp system, QPatch Compact, the Bruce Bean and Clifford Woolf Labs at Harvard Medical School’s Blavatnik Institute and the F.M. Kirby Neurobiology Center at Boston Children’s Hospital have decided to acquire the technology.
The decision to acquire QPatch Compact was driven by two key factors: the need to “scale up” patch-clamp assays previously done manually and the power of the QPatch Compact for fast, highly-flexible application of multiple pharmacological agents to a single cell. QPatch Compact utilizes technology proven by use for over 20 years in QPatch I and QPatch II.
Bean commented, “The QPatch Compact is amazing in that you can apply a solution almost instantly just by pipetting a few microliters of solution, so that you can make any sequence of solution changes you like on-the-fly during an experiment. The flexible solution handling capability is perfect for doing quick dose-response determinations and the fact that you get complete solution exchange with just a few microliters of solution is especially useful for experiments with expensive toxins.”
The group is using QPatch Compact to investigate the pharmacology of a variety of voltage-gated ion channels with a focus on generating novel non-opioid compounds for the treatment of pain.
The instrument will be run by a core group of experienced electrophysiologists including Bruce Bean, Patric Vaelli, Akie Fujita, Bear Zhang, Sooyeon Jo, Tomás Osorno, and Rasheen Powell.
About the Blavatnik Institute: Led by HMS Dean George Q. Daley, the Blavatnik Institute at Harvard Medical School is home to world-class faculty who aim to solve the greatest problems of human health through fundamental and translational biomedical research. The institute reflects the unique identity of the scientific enterprise housed on the HMS Quadrangle, encompassing the School’s 11 basic and social science departments, including the departments of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Biomedical Informatics, Cell Biology, Genetics, Global Health and Social Medicine, Health Care Policy, Immunology, Microbiology, Neurobiology, Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, and Systems Biology. The institute was named in November 2018 in recognition of a momentous commitment from the Blavatnik Family Foundation to benefit Harvard Medical School.
About Bruce Bean, PhD: Dr. Bean is the Robert Winthrop Professor of Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School. He is a physiologist recognized for his work on how ion channels control the excitability of neurons and cardiac muscle. Bean received a PhD in Biophysics from the University of Rochester in 1979 and further training as a postdoctoral fellow at the Yale School of Medicine, working with Richard W. Tsien on cardiac electrophysiology. In addition to his current position at Harvard Medical School, he has worked at the University of Iowa and at the Vollum Institute of Oregon Health Sciences University.
About Clifford Woolf, MD, PhD: Dr. Woolf is Director of the F.M. Kirby Neurobiology Center and the Neurobiology Program at Boston Children’s Hospital. He trained for his M.D. and Ph.D. at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg South Africa before joining University College London, where he was a professor of neurobiology. Woolf moved to Boston as the first incumbent of the Richard J Kitz Chair of Anesthesia Research at Harvard Medical School and established the Neural Plasticity Research Group, based in the Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He is a faculty member of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and the Department of Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School.