Dr. Artur Yakimovich is a Research Associate within the Institute of Molecular Life Sciences at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. Working within the group of Professor Dr. Urs Greber, Artur leads a small sub-team (Vardan Andriasyan, Fanny Georgi) that is interested in the late events that occur in human cells infected by replicating pathogens such as viruses. These events typically involve shedding of the newly synthesized progeny of the pathogen and its spread to non-infected host cells.
The group combines state-of-the-art wet-lab, imaging, image and data analysis tools, as well as computer simulations to visualize, measure, and predict the strategies different pathogens exploit to ensure their survival and procreation at the expense of their host.
To image and analyze infected cells, the group uses two ImageXpress® Micro XLS High-Content Imaging Systems. Using these two systems, together with image analysis software the group developed in house, they have recently brought the classical Plaque assay – one of the first quantitative assays in virology (originally developed by Renato Dulbecco) – onto a whole new level. The group called it Plaque2.0 and it allows them to image and rapidly quantify fluorescent viral plaque formations accompanied by numerous other markers of choice in an automated and screening-compatible fashion.
Artur says, “What we particularly like about our ImageXpress systems is the combination of flexibility and reliability. They are the work- horses of our group”.
Figure: Virus plaques observed by fluorescence microscopy. The figure shows a composite fluorescence microscopy image depicting the formation of plaques upon infection of cultured cells with adenovirus (blue cells), vaccinia viruses (orange, green) and herpes virus (magenta). Images are not to scale.
More information about the Plaque2.0 assay can be found in the group’s recent publication:
Yakimovich, A., Andriasyan, V., Witte, R., Wang, I. H., Prasad, V., Suomalainen, M., & Greber, U. F. (2015). Plaque2. 0 – A High-Throughput Analysis Framework to Score Virus-Cell Transmission and Clonal Cell Expansion. PloS one, 10 (9): e0138760.
ImageXpress Micro XLS High-Content Analysis System