The Phase Zero Approach​

  • There is a "translational valley of death": The success rate for a new target identified to reach the next step in the drug discovery process is undeniable low and wrought with failure. This is because many of the pre-clinical models to date do not accurately recapitulate the human system, and assessment of efficacy typically waits until Phase III clinical trials.
  • HUMANOID is dedicated to build and validate pre-clinical human healthy and disease models as platforms for research and drug development, and enable early ex vivo testing for toxicity and efficacy.
  • With few exceptions, all tissues from human, mouse, embryonic, adult, diseased, normal, iPSCs, can be developed into organoids, and subsequently into disease models with a few network-guided tweaks.
  • Our ex vivo models recreate the complexity in vivo by making multi-dimensional organoids [co-culture techniques that capture the 3D of organoid tissues + microbiome + immune or non-immune cells]
  • In powerful synergy with iNetMed's precise AI-assisted target discovery, HUMANOID can build personalized models with patient tissue; together, they enable "precisionalized" medicine.
  • HUMANOID collaborates with an extensive network of clinicians, industry collaborators and basic scientists, both on and off campus.
  • HUMANOID's services include enabling the research community to access and experiment with human primary cells, organoids, enteroid derived monolayers, derivatives of organoids, support sponsored research projects, provide consultation, offer formal and informal education on organoid research and more.
  • HUMANOID is located in the George Palade Laboratories (GPL) for Cellular and Molecular Medicine [Room 238].


  • Use of human primary cells and organoids as powerful 3D platforms to provide new insights into disease processes and cellular pathways.

  • Drug discovery tool to validate targets and test efficacy of candidate and approved therapeutics in patient-derived, ex-vivo models in a semi-high throughput (HTP) format.

  • Access to biobanked primary cells and organoids, organoid-derived lysates, DNA/RNA, etc. from healthy and disease patients (Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn's, Colon Cancer, Colorectal polyposis, Gastric Cancers, NASH/NAFLD). 

  • Partnership opportunities (with both academia and industry) to reverse engineer build multi-dimensional disease models that recapitulate the complex multi-cellular biology and cell-cell, cell-matrix and host-microbe communications that take place in human tissues in both physiology and disease.

  • Collaboration for assay design and validation for the development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic avenues using human organoids. 

  • Support on grant applications: Letters of Support; Budget; IRB; Access to Biobank and other Resources, 



                        Primary Cells​
  • Esophagus and stomach
  • Small intestine and Colon
  • Liver
  • Pancreas
  • Lung
  • Mammary gland
  • Prostate
  • Brain (iPSCs)
  • Cardiomyocytes (iPSCs)
  • Retina (iPSCs)
  • T-cells
  • Myofibroblasts (skin, gut)
  • Monocytes (from peripheral or tissue specific)


  • Equipment
  • Media and Cocktails and starter kits [mouse or human or BOTH]
  • Primary cells, DNA/RNA/lysate [mouse or human or BOTH]
  • Consultation for experimental design and troubleshooting
  • Organoid-based experiments [mouse or human or BOTH]
  • Access to plate-based disease models for customized assays
  • Training for students and fellows available to those in academic or industry