Kate received her Bachelor’s degree from F.W. Olin College of Engineering near Boston and then moved on to do her PhD in the lab of Dr. Valerie Weaver at UC Berkeley & UC San Francisco where she focused on understanding the role of biophysical forces in modulating cancer aggression and progression. Kate then moved on as a Whitaker postdoctoral scholar to the Institute for Advanced Biosciences in Grenoble, France as a joint postdoc with the Wickström lab. Kate continued her postdoctoral work as an EMBO fellow in the Wickström lab at the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing in Cologne, Germany and then as a HFSP fellow in Helsinki Institute of Life Science at the University of Helsinki in Finland where she works on mechanical forces and chromatin. Kate will start her own laboratory at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the USA in 2021!
Can you describe in a few words your research work? And the project and experiments for which you wanted to use PRIMO?
« My interest is to understand the role of biophysical and topological properties of tissue microenvironments, such as stem cell niches, in modulating cell fate. Thus, the ability to precisely tune and control extracellular cell/organelle shape and geometry in 2D and 3D, is of critical importance. PRIMO has been incredibly useful in this regard! »
Primary mouse keratinocytes expressing Sox9 IRES eGFP reporter (cyan; pseudocolored DIC in magenta) on 10mm micropatterned line surfaces coated with a uniform/non-oriented collagen I ECM. Similar micropattern strategies were utilized to quantify clone growth orientation along oriented collagen fibers in Dekoninck et al. CELL 2020 (PMID:32259486) paper.
What made you choose PRIMO ?
« Flexibility and ease of creating and testing limitless amounts of new patterns without the need to redesign chrome masks to adjust dimensions to different cell types (2D work). And the ability to easily microfabricate in 3D. »
Which solution did you use before using PRIMO?
« Deep UV with quartz glass mask patterning, for 2D and collaborations for 3D. The glass masks were very expensive so we couldn’t have as many different geometries that we wanted, patterning was slow and low throughput. »
Is the PRIMO system matching your expectations?
« PRIMO is outperforming my expectations – it is robust, easy to use, and the customer support team is fantastic – better than I have ever experienced. »
And how would you qualify its performances?
« Reproducible and versatile. Extremely easy to master patterning/fabrication for non experts. »
If you were to describe PRIMO in one word, what would it be?
« Enabler (in terms of technology) »
And finally, how would you qualify the support provided by the team?
« I can honestly attest that I have never experienced better customer service than with the PRIMO team, starting from purchasing to installation/training, to troubleshooting and expanding the types of assays we do with the PRIMO. Thank you for being dedicated, professional, knowledgeable, and all around awesome team of individuals. »