The SMART Pharmacology Lab, directed by Drs. Karin Allenspach (DVM, MS, PhD, Diplomate ECVIM-CA) Professor of Translational Health and Internal Medicine and Jonathan Mochel (DVM, MS, PhD, Diplomate ECVPT, AAVPT Fellow) Professor of Systems Pharmacology, is an academic research lab that transferred to the University of Georgia in 2023.

Our lab spotlights organoids as a platform for drug discovery and personalized medicine. Organoids, which can be described colloquially as “mini-organs,” are self-organized stem cell clusters that mimic their organ of origin. Our research foci include using animal, specifically canine, adult stem cell-derived organoids to mirror human and animal tissues in vitro to create a reliable model for disease modeling, drug screening, and vaccine development, among other applications. Our primary focus is on canine cancer and testing novel therapeutics.

Our in vitro lab focuses on

  • 3D organoid culture
  • Immunofluorescence/Imaging
  • CRISPR Gene editing
  • Transfection
  • Immune cell isolation and co-culturing
  • RNA extractions
  • Live/Dead cell assays (Cell titer glo)
  • Chemotoxicity Exposure assays
  • Experimental design
  • 2D cell culture
  • RNA in situ hybridization
  • Single cell RNA sequencing
  • Data analysis/interpretation
  • qPCR

Research Areas of Emphasis

The SMART Lab focuses on the creation and usage of animal organoids that are derived from adult stem cells for applications in various biomedical fields. The main focus of the lab is canine oncology where we culture and grow patient specific organoids to study personalized medicine using tumor biology and toxicology to help identify effective treatment options for the patient. We utilize organoid technology to rapidly screen various combinations of treatments including chemotherapy, radiation, and various novel drugs. Additionally, the lab uses organoids in a variety of other settings including pharmacology, viral uptake studies, and cell biology.

Canine organoid portfolio in the lab includes canine liver, intestine, pancreas, bladder, mammary, and lung, among others.

Click on the image below to learn more about ongoing research in the UGA Smart Pharmacology Lab

Urothelial Carcinoma
Urothelial Carcinoma

Click on the image below to learn more about ongoing UGA SMART Pharmacology Lab Collaborations

Chicken Lung

Additional SMART Lab Information

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