Networking Event

Science and Networking

iPSC Assay Development and Screening - a Synergistic Story

Date: 8 May 2024
Co-organized by Axxam, Fujifilm Cellular Dynamics and Hamamatsu Photonics:

Scientific seminar and networking

Join us for a scientific seminar focused on induced Pluripotent Stem Cells.

Hamamatsu, Fujifilm Cellular Dynamics Inc. (FCDI), and Axxam S.p.A. are pleased to present a seminar showcasing iPSC integration into key components of clinically translatable early drug discovery.

Successfully translating early drug discovery efforts to the clinic requires,

      • Access to patient-based and disease-relevant material and models,
      • High-throughput functional screening
      • An ability to interrogate and integrate across model systems and modalities to generate actionable clinically relevant data.

This seminar will showcase advancements and case-studies on these topics with an emphasis on cardiovascular and neurodegeneration discovery efforts.

Attendees will enjoy a light lunch and refreshments and have an excellent opportunity for networking with colleagues, peers, and subject-matter experts as they learn about the intersection of high-throughput functional screening, clinically relevant disease models, and successful integration into drug discovery campaigns. 


13.00-13.30         WELCOME AND REFRESHMENT

13.30-13.45          High throughput screening of iPSC using the Hamamatsu FDSSµcell

                                   (Diana Kovalauskaite. HAMAMATSU)

13.45-14.30          iPSC-based models for drug discovery; 2D, 3D, and complex models with immune           

                                      compartments across cardiac, hepatic, and neural therapeutic areas

                                     (Blake Anson. FCDI)

          • Developing patient-based and disease-linked human models.
          • Incorporating iPSC models across 2D, 3D, and complex-culture formats.
          • Specific case-studies in cardiac safety, neurodegeneration, and incorporating immune-based cells (macrophage and microglia).

14.30-14.50          COFFEE BREAK

14.50-15.40          iPSC-based assays for Drug Discovery: a comprehensive screening platform

                                     (Atf Nagbou and Silvia Cainarca. Axxam)

          • General capabilities with a focus on:
          • Miniaturization and adaptation to automation
          • Developing iPSC-based assays for drug screening, using different type o cells, including neurons and cardiomyocytes
          • Setting up of relevant disease models (PD, AD, ALS)


Diana Kovalauskaite, Sales Engineer supporting Digital Pathology and FDSS at Hamamatsu


Diana is a mechanical and marine engineering graduate who transitioned into the life sciences industry as a Sales engineer.

Diana has worked for several leading companies, providing specialised support and technical expertise in fields of mass spectrometry and spectrophotometry. This hands-on experience gave her an in-depth understanding of analytical technologies pivotal to drug discovery and research.

Currently, Diana focuses on digital pathology solutions, guiding UK and international customers through the implementation and effective utilization of digital imaging and analysis platforms. In addition, she provides dedicated support with Functional Drug Screening System (FDSS) to UK customers.


Dr. Blake Anson, Senior Director - Discovery Research Partnering for FUJIFILM


Dr. Blake Anson, PhD works within and leads aspects of a global team focused on developing custom human induced pluripotent cell (iPSC) platforms and partnering for FUJIFILM Cellular Dynamics, Inc.’s Discovery Research division. He has held strategic leadership roles across multiple stem cell and ex-vivo platform developers and has been developing, commercializing, and implementing human iPSC-based cellular platforms for basic research, drug discovery, toxicity testing, and safety pharmacology for the past two decades. Dr. Anson received his doctorate in Neuroscience from the University of Oregon-Eugene with post-graduate work in Molecular Genetics and Cardiovascular Cellular Physiology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is currently a recovering patch-clamp electrophysiologist. He has authored over 30 peer-reviewed manuscripts and book chapters, taught Continuing Education courses within the Safety Pharmacology Society, has been active in the Society of Toxicology since 2005, a member since 2019 and on the stem cell leadership council since 2020.

Silvia Cainarca, iPSC Unit Manager at Axxam


Silvia has more than 18 years of experience in drug discovery field, and a strong background in cellular and molecular biology.

She followed discovery programs from assay set up to compound testing and Hit-To-Lead validation with a focus on molecules characterization during the optimization process in the Discovery Biology Unit as principal scientist.

Main expertise: development of several functional cell-based assays also with relevant cell types; in the conduction of Hit-to-Lead programs; and now in the coordination of activities of assay development, functional and epigenetic screening with iPS-derived cells.

Project leader for grants financed by the European Community and by National and International funding and Principal Investigator in important collaborations with international clients and partners, in the field of iPS-derived cells.

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