Organotypic and Next Generation Culture Methods
December 1 - 14, 2016
Application Deadline:  September 9, 2016


Hans Clevers, Hubrecht Institute & University Medical Centre, The Netherlands
David Tuveson, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory 
Visiting Faculty:

Seema Agarwal, Georgetown University Medical Center
Andrew Ewald, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutes
Michael Shen, Columbia University Medical Center
Ewa Krawczyk, Georgetown University Medical Center

Lindsey Baker, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory 

Recently, a number of technological advances have prompted the development of better methods to use cells cultured ex vivo as models for biological systems. These “next generation” culture systems circumvent some of the limitations of traditional, two-dimensional cell culture, and therefore hold great promise as models that will more accurately recapitulate biological processes and interactions. This course uses both seminar and hands-on sessions to explore these systems, with a primary focus on 3D, organoid culture. The course is designed for researchers with some cell culture experience, who wish to utilize 3D or conditionally reprogrammed culture methods in their research. Students need not have any prior experience with 3D or conditionally reprogrammed cell culture methods.

Through seminars presented during the course, students will develop an understanding of various organoid and next generation culture systems. Students will learn to compare and contrast different types of organoid models, including stem cell organoid and tissue organoid cultures. Important aspects of organoid culture such as tissue dissociation, culture media, and 3D culture matrices will also be discussed. Students will learn how co-culture of organoids with stromal cells can be used to model interactions between epithelial and mesenchymal cells. In addition, students will learn about the generation and culture of conditionally reprogrammed cells, as an alternative to organoid culture. Students will learn how these next-generation culture systems are currently being employed to study development, disease progression, and tumorigenesis. The use of human patient-derived organoids for biomedical research will also be discussed.

In the laboratory portion of the course, students will gain hands-on experience generating, culturing, and passaging different organoid models, including stem cell organoids derived from pancreatic, liver, mammary, and intestinal tissue as well as mammary tissue organoids and prostate organoids. In addition, students will learn to generate and passage conditionally reprogrammed cultures. Students will gain first-hand experience in methods for downstream analysis of organoid cultures, including IC50 analysis following chemical treatment and organoid imaging. Methods to transplant organoids into mice for in vivo analysis will also be covered.

This course is supported with funds provided by: Helmsley Charitable Trust

Support & Stipends

Stipends are available to offset tuition costs as follows:


Interdisciplinary Fellowships (transitioning from outside biology)  & Scholarships (transitioning from other biological disciplines) (Helmsley Charitable Trust)
International applicants (Howard Hughes Medical Institute)

Please indicate your eligibility for funding in your stipend request submitted when you apply to the course. Stipend requests do not affect selection decisions made by the instructors.

Cost (including board and lodging): $3,735

This button links to a short form which confirms your interest in the course. No fees are due until you have completed the full application process and are accepted into the course.

Students accepted into the course should plan to arrive by early evening on November 30 and plan to depart after lunch on December 14.