Integration with Human In Vivo Studies
In order to determine whether our in vitro models of disease are relevant in terms of replicating the disease state in vivo, we also obtain tissue from patients suffering from fatty liver and diabetes so that biochemical metabolic and gene expression characteristics of this primary tissue can be compared to data obtained in vitro. The aim is ultimately to use this information to help validate our models of disease.
The FAL (FRAME Alternatives Laboratory) collaborates closely with clinicians and human physiologists in carrying out patient and volunteer studies examining the effects of drugs and metabolic intervention in vivo. Once again we then carry out in vitro experiments in order to ascertain the molecular basis of the results obtained in vivo.
The ability to produce an in vitro system that mirrors human disease states also allows us to use techniques that are impossible in vivo such as the use of viral expression vectors to increase individually the expression of certain genes and shRNA, which allows us to silence genes in order to determine their role in disease progression and pathogenesis.