UNC Lineberger’s William Marzluff, PhD.

UNC Lineberger’s William Marzluff, PhD, William Rand Kenan Professor in the UNC School of Medicine Department of Biochemistry & Biophysics, will collaborate with Research Triangle Park-based Cell Microsystems in an effort to speed the use of CRISPR technology in lab experiments.

The company was awarded two federal Small Business Innovation and Research awards totaling $1.9 million to automate distinct CRISPR workflows using their proprietary CellRaft Technology, which was created by the lab of UNC Lineberger’s Nancy Allbritton, MD, PhD, Kenan Professor and Chair of the UNC/NCSU Joint Biomedical Engineering Department.

UNC Lineberger’s Nancy Allbritton, MD, PhD.

Marzluff is one of two collaborators on a Phase II grant awarded to the company to validate Cell Microsystems’ CellRaft AIR™ System in core laboratories. The system is an automated platform “employing an integrated fluorescent microscope to image, sort, and isolate cells or small clonal colonies cultured on the CytoSort™ Array,” according to a release.

In 2010, Allbritton and two members of her lab – senior scientist Christopher Sims, MD, and research associate Yuli Wang, PhD – founded Cell Microsystems. Since then, the company has received federal research awards for areas in addition to CRISPR workflows, including single cell genomics, HIV latency reversal, cancer immunotherapy, and high-resolution imaging.