John O’brien Cambridge University
Dr John O’Brien CBiol FSB
Divisional Laboratory Coordinator
Working on the application of improving biolistic delivery of getting DNA or fluorescent dyes into live cells. Biolistic transfection is proving an increasingly popular method of incorporating DNA or dyes into cells that are difficult to transfect using traditional methods. The technique routinely uses ‘microparticles’, which are 1-2 microns in diameter, fired into tissues using pressurised helium gas. Fluorescent dyes delivered into living cells by a biolistic delivery enables a detailed map of the anatomical connections between individual cells and groups of cells providing a “wiring diagram” of connections. More recently fluorescent dye coated nanosensors introduced into cells by the gene gun has the potential to implement novel measurement techniques where currently none are available. I’ve made modifications to the hand-held gene gun which has enhanced its accuracy by restricting its target area, and increased the depth penetration achieved by gold dye-coated particles.
The prize was awarded by the International Psychogetriatric Association (IPA) in recognition of his extraordinary service and contribution to the clinical and research scene of geriatric mental health.