Event Date/Time: Nov 08, 2004
End Date/Time: Nov 09, 2004
Intact cells provide an ideal platform for measuring complex biological processes and screening for the effects of drug candidates. Cell-based assays can monitor functions, can analyze multiple-step pathways, and can even be used to determine regulation of gene expression in response to biological and pharmacologic stimuli, allowing identification of new genomic targets for drug discovery. These attributes make cell-based assays powerful tools for nearly every facet of drug discovery and development, and are the focus for a great deal of research effort in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry. However, in order to more faithfully translate the findings from basic cellular research, cell-based models need to capture both the 3-D organization and multicellular complexity of an organ. At the same time, these models can accommodate systematic experimental intervention. The experimental accessibility afforded by these tissue-specific 3-D organotypic models has great potential for the design and development of drug therapies. Because of the ethical, technical, and financial constraints inherent in research on human cells and tissues, the demand for models that faithfully parallel human form and function considerably outweighs the supply. The purpose of this meeting is to identify the current best practices in cell/tissue culture, development of cell/tissue based assays, and to explore the potential of 3-D science in drug discovery and development.