Session Overview

Increasing the physiological relevance of cell cultures provides a better understanding of the in vivo situation. Three-dimensional (3D) cell culture systems and spheroids have gained increasing interest in drug discovery as they have the ability to provide more human relevant insights compared to traditional two-dimensional (2D) monolayer cultures. Culturing cells under flow allows transport of oxygen and nutrients and removal of waste products. Dynamic conditions more accurately mimic the environment within the body and therefore provide more predictive data than static conditions. Co-culture enables improved understanding of interactions between cell populations.

Session Chair: Professor Trevor Dale

Director of Technology (Cardiff University)

Trevor did his undergraduate in Biochemistry at Imperial College and then completed a PhD on interferon signal transduction at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in 1989 (now Cancer Research UK, London Research Centre). During this time he became interested in the role of signalling pathways in development. Following a postdoctoral fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, he established a research group at the Institute of Cancer Research in London in 1991. His group moved to Cardiff in November 2003.

The primary focus of research in the group is the regulation of the Wnt signal transduction pathway. Wnts together with other peptide ligands including the FGF, EGF, TGF-β and hedgehog families orchestrate cell-cell interactions throughout development. Much of the specificity of each ligand's function is controlled by intracellular pathways that are activated at the cell surface. Components of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway are frequently mutated in human cancer. The laboratory studies normal and oncogenic Wnt signalling using approaches ranging from biochemistry/structural biology, through cell and organoid based assays to murine models.






Recent Publications

Dietrich, al. 2017. Cell permeable stapled peptide inhibitor of Wnt signaling that targets b-catenin protein-protein interactions. Cell Chemical Biology 24(8), pp. 958-968. (10.1016/j.chembiol.2017.06.013) 

Carotenuto, al. 2017. Wnt signalling modulates transcribed-ultraconserved regions in hepatobiliary cancers. Gut 66(7), pp. 1268-1277. (10.1136/gutjnl-2016-312278) 

Dietrich, al. 2017. Overcoming the low cell permeability of a β-Catenin-targeting stapled peptide thereby enabling potent inhibition of Wnt signaling. Cell Chemical Biology  

Kay, al. 2017. The role of the Hes1 crosstalk hub in Notch-Wnt interactions of the intestinal crypt. PLoS Computational Biology 13(2), article number: e1005400. (10.1371/journal.pcbi.1005400) 

Clarke, al. 2016. Assessing the mechanism and therapeutic potential of modulators of the human Mediator complex-associated protein kinases. eLife 5, article number: e20722. (10.7554/eLife.20722) 

Jardé, al. 2016. Wnt and Neuregulin1/ErbB signalling extends 3D culture of hormone responsive mammary organoids. Nature Communications 7, article number: 13207. (10.1038/ncomms13207) 

Czodrowski, al. 2016. Structure-based optimization of potent, selective, and orally bioavailable CDK8 inhibitors discovered by high-throughput screening. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 59(20), pp. 9337-9349. (10.1021/acs.jmedchem.6b00597) 

Mallinger, al. 2016. Discovery of potent, selective, and orally bioavailable small-molecule modulators of the mediator complex-associated kinases CDK8 and CDK19. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 59(3), pp. 1078-1101. (10.1021/acs.jmedchem.5b01685)

What papers are we looking for?

We are looking for a wide variety of papers on this topic to provide an academic and industry perspective.

Interested in presenting?

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The Presenters


Dr Gary Allenby

Business Development Director and Chief Scientific Officer

Aurelia Bioscience

Application of novel 3-dimensional electrospun micro-scaffold technology as a drug discovery platform for cell biology

Dr Dania Movia

Senior Research Fellow

Trinity College Dublin

3D in vitro models of lung cancer: Understanding the model's characteristics to improve drugs translation

Dr Dominik Egger

Research Associate

University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (Vienna)

Dynamic three-dimensional aggregate cultivation for the expansion of mesenchymal stem cells

Dr Alejandro Amador

Scientific Leader

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)

Active-learning strategies for high content imaging screening using 3D in vitro models

Dr Lynne Bingle

Reader in Oral Science

University of Sheffield

The development of an organoid model of human salivary glands

Professor Elisa Budyn


University of Paris-Saclay

Morphological and physiological changes of osteocytes during bone formatting in a bone-on-chip

Nilofar Faruqui


National Physical Laboratory

Self-assembled Instructive Extracellular Mimics

Sandro Meucci

R&D Scientist

Micronit Microtechnologies

Tailoring the extracellular environment of in vitro systems

Nikolett Nagy

Field Application Scientist

Upcyte Technologies

Liver bud formation using differentiated human upcyte cells

Dr Tamara Zietek

Research Group Leader

Technical University of Munich (Germany)

3D intestinal organoids: Functional studies on nutrient uptake, drug bioavailability and gut hormone secretion

Dr Deborah Mason


Cardiff University

3D mechanically-loaded bone cell models for drug screening

To be confirmed


Kate Harper (PerkinElmer) - Imaging Bile Canaliculi in 3D Liver Microtissues using the Opera Phenix High Content Screening System

Nuria Abajo Lima (Cardiff University) - Scale up of organoid expansion and fractionation for their widespread use in preclinical drug discovery

Jessica Pinheiro de Lucena-Thomas (University of Bath) - Microgel Matrices for Human Cancer Organoid Production

Session sponsored by SpheriTech