…adapting and designing in silico computational simulation techniques to reveal previously unmeasured properties of adult tissue stem cells, like for instance their number!
Boston, MA (PRWEB)
May 18, 2017
When James Sherley, was notified earlier this year that his company Asymmetrex had been selected as one of the 50 Most Valuable Brands for the Year 2017 by The Silicon Review, he was not surprised as others might be. Sherley says, “I felt like we had been making good progress increasing Asymmetrex’s value, but this recognition by Silicon Valley was particularly meaningful. Our selection by The Silicon Review may seem odd to some, but it makes perfect sense to us. We are able to count adult tissue stem cells for the first time, how? By adapting and designing in silico computational simulation techniques to reveal previously unmeasured properties of adult tissue stem cells, like for instance their number!”
Sherley had a theoretical concept for counting tissue stem cells since before he and his collaborators published a 2001 seminal report explaining how the culture of human tissue cells depends on the unique cell production abilities of tissue stem cells. However, implementing and testing his concept would require enlisting computational modeling expertise. Although Sherley was a professor at MIT, during his time there from 1998 to 2007, he was able to entice only one computer science graduate student to work with him on the idea as a half-semester interdisciplinary experience project.
Then Sherley met Frank Abdi, Ph.D. at a biology-mesomechanics integrative conference in Vicenza, Italy in 2011. Abdi is the founder and chief scientist at AlphaSTAR Corporation, a leading global consulting company in the aircraft and aerospace industry. In AlphaSTAR, Abdi had developed an award-winning, proprietary suite of statistical computational software for simulating the complex behavior of composite materials in high mechanical stress crafts like airplanes, racing cars, and space shuttles. Abdi had a long-standing interest in applying these malleable computational tools to problems in medicine. So, it did not take long for Abdi and Sherley to recognize that they were the ideal team to advance Sherley’s computational tissue stem cell counting concept to practical use.
With other AlphaSTAR staff, the two began by translating Sherley’s biological models into computational code. When Asymmetrex was formed in 2013, the two companies added staff and resources to accelerate their efforts to develop and validate the new counting approach. By the middle of 2016, they had completed development of the AlphaSTEM Test, a working software program validated for counting tissue stem cells in human lung, bone marrow, liver, and amniotic fluid, as well as for…