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 main 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

Canine organoid portfolio in the lab includes canine liver, intestine, pancreas, bladder, kidney, lung, among others, utilized in applications including:

  • Cell Biology
  • Tumor Biology
  • Pharmacology
  • Toxicology
  • Personalized medicine
  • Drug discovery and testing
  • Genetics and Genomics
  • Viral uptake platform development
  • Non-model organoid development
  • Investigation of unique animal adaptations using organoid technology

Additional SMART Lab Information

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