Allen Institute profiles Prof Lydia Kisley and group’s new Expansion Mass Spectrometry technology

Professor Lydia Kisley and fellow Allen Distinguished Investigator Professor Laura Sanchez were recently featured in an Allen Institute article that reports on their work to develop a technique that aims to stretch cells up to 20 times their size.
Cellular yoga: Stretching cells to see a hidden world — Allen Distinguished Investigators aim to stretch cancer cells like Silly Putty to reveal their elusive nutrients (by Jake Siegel, Allen Institute) See full story and video here

Lydia Kisley, Assistant Professor, Departments of Physics & Chemistry

Scientists have powerful tools to peer inside single cells—but they can only peer so far. Some of a cell’s innermost secrets remain elusive, too small or fleeting to study.

Two Allen Distinguished Investigators are developing a radical new technology to investigate a key biological blind spot. Their goal: stretch cells like Silly Putty, physically enlarging them by up to 20 times. This would hopefully unveil small molecules that act as vital cellular nutrients.

The researchers have dubbed their approach Expansion Mass Spectrometry (ExMS). They plan to use ExMS to study how ovarian cancer cells use nutrients called metabolites to grow and spread.