Annual Report 2001 - National Cell and Tissue Culture Centre

annual report 2001

national cell and tissue culture centre

Unit Report
Head: Professor Martin Clynes

  • Phase I Clinical Trial in cancer patients, based on discoveries by cancer drug resistance research group at NCTCC.
  • DNA microarray and 2-D proteomic technologies successfully established at NCTCC.
  • Commissioning and validation of Archport's new GMP biotechnology production facility.

The National Cell & Tissue Culture Centre (NCTCC) was established by Government decision as part of the first National Biotechnology Programme, in 1987. It was given the remit to be a focus for research, training, and industry support in Animal Cell Culture Technology, and related areas of Biotechnology.

As part of its training role, the Centre fully supports the research of fifteen full-time postgraduate students, and provides specialist lecture modules to students taking the B.Sc. in Biotechnology and the M.Sc. in Biological Sciences.

The Centre employs 60 people working in various aspects of research and services to industry, and earns 70% of its budget from these services. A major part of this revenue is generated by contract production of recombinant proteins in animal cells, and a new expansion of clean-room facilities started in August 1998 for this work in a new campus company (Archport Ltd.) should generate 30 new jobs on campus over a 5-year period.

Research programmes include investigation of multiple drug resistance in cancer, monoclonal antibodies in diagnosis of drug resistance in cancer, a new combination chemotherapy for cancer, ribozymes, tissue engineering as applied to type I diabetes and differentiation of lung cells

In 1999, DCU and Enterprise Ireland jointly commissioned an independent external review of the activities of NCTCC, by two expert biotechnologists, Prof. Peter Buckel from Germany and Dr. Michael Comer from Ireland. Their report, completed in November 1999, gave an enthusiastic endorsement of the Centre's research programmes and recommended that the NCTCC should expand, in collaboration with other DCU researchers, to form a new Research Institute.

Early in 2000, with the approval of the University's Executive, the NCTCC joined with the UDRC MOLTEK and other researchers from the Schools of Chemical Sciences, Biotechnology and Computer Applications to form a new National Institute for Cellular Biotechnology (NICB).