March 15, 2010

New Mexico Business Weekly Honors Dr. Bruce Edwards


Dr. Bruce Edwards, Research Professor of Pathology at the UNM School of Medicine and Director of the Flow Cytometry and High Throughput Screening Shared Resource at the UNM Cancer Center, has recently been recognized by New Mexico Business Weekly for his outstanding accomplishments and leadership in technological advancement in the state of New Mexico. Edwards is one of 28 technology leaders to receive the prestigious New Mexico Business Weekly 2010 Who’s Who in Technology award. The award recognizes the accomplishments of those who are keeping the state on the cutting edge of technological advances, and those who are helping exciting technologies get the funding and support they need.

“The technological advancements in flow cytometry achieved by Dr. Edwards and his team have brought international acclaim to the team, the UNM Department of Pathology and the UNM Cancer Center,” said Dr. Cheryl Willman, Director and CEO of the UNM Cancer Center. “This is a prestigious honor, and we are pleased that Dr. Edwards is being recognized for his contribution to cancer research.”

Edwards is the co-creator of the HyperCyt Auto Sampler, which accelerates the rate of sample delivery to standard flow cytometers. This means that researchers who use HyperCyt are able to process collections of cells in test tubes much faster than in the past, and thus are able to analyze cells up to 20 times faster than with traditional samplers. This means that researchers can process the equivalent of 40 test tubes per minute, and Edwards and his team are currently at work on the next generation of the HyperCyt, which will allow researchers to process up to 160 tubes per minute. Only a fifth of a drop of cells is required for each test analysis, about one hundredth of the volume used by traditional samplers. This technology is leading to new molecular discoveries and, ultimately, to new cancer diagnoses and treatments.

Edwards and HyperCyt co-creator Dr. Larry Sklar, Regents Professor at the UNM School of Medicine and Director of the UNM Center for Molecular Discovery, have formed a company, IntelliCyt, to develop and market innovative high throughput cell screening solutions using flow cytometry technology for drug discovery and life science research. IntelliCyt recently signed an agreement with Beckman Coulter for international distribution of the HyperCyt technology.

“This is a great award, and I am honored and flattered by the recognition,” said Edwards. “The technology we have developed here at the Department of Pathology and the UNM Cancer Center is making it possible for researchers to conduct cell analyses more quickly, which is a vital component of drug discovery. That means that this technology can lead to better drugs to fight cancers. My team and I are thrilled to receive this award.”

Edwards and the other Who’s Who in Technology honorees will receive their awards at a reception on April 1, 2010, and will be recognized in a special supplement to New Mexico Business Weekly on April 2.

The UNM Cancer Center is the Official Cancer Center of the State of New Mexico, and one of only 63 National Cancer Institute designated cancer centers in the nation. It is home to 85 board-certified oncology physicians representing every cancer specialty and more than 120 research scientists hailing from such prestigious institutions as M.D. Anderson, Johns Hopkins and the Mayo Clinic. Last year, the UNM Cancer Center served more than 7,600 new patients in 84,000 patient visits.

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