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St George’s University of London and the Functional Genomics Cell Bank strengthen their partnership with to accelerate cancer research.

St George’s University of London (SGUL) and announce new cell lines from Dr. Elena Sviderskaya, which are now readily available via the website. is a global, non-profit cancer-focused biorepository with a 40+ year history of making cancer research tools accessible such as antibodies, cell lines, mouse models and more to cancer researchers worldwide.

Leading cancer biologists at SGUL are supporting’s mission to accelerate cancer research through research tools. Since December 2017, has been storing, producing and shipping SGUL’s scientists’ research tools worldwide. To accelerate cancer research and discoveries globally, SGUL and the Functional Genomics Cell Bank are now making 68 murine melanocyte and melanoblast cell lines, invented by Dr. Elena Sviderskaya, available through

“As a non-profit, is dedicated to accelerating cancer breakthroughs, by ensuring cancer scientists have access to the highest quality research tools. We are delighted to be able to make these valuable cell lines available to the global research community and to continue strengthening our relationship with SGUL and the Functional Genomics Cell Bank.”

James Ritchie, Head of External Innovation,

Dr. Elena Sviderskaya specialises in pigment cell and melanoma research1 and is the Director of the Functional Genomics Cell Bank1 at St George’s, University of London. The Functional Genomics Cell Bank specialises in mouse melanocyte and melanoblast lines carrying a variety of pigmentary mutations, immortal human melanocytes, melanoma cell lines, and stem cells. Many of these lines are now available through

“We are delighted that the cell lines held in the Functional Genomics Cell Bank at St George's are now available via to researchers globally. These lines are important for cancer biologists as non-cancerous controls for the behaviour of melanoma lines, and are also useful in testing the importance of melanogenesis in the progression of melanoma and other skin cancers.”

Dr. Elena Sviderskaya, Director of the Functional Genomics Cell Bank

About the cell lines:

Melanocytes are the cells in mammals that produce pigment (melanin), colouring the hair, skin and irises. They develop from unpigmented precursors, melanoblasts, and are located in the bottom layer of the skin’s epidermis.

The cell lines deposited with are immortal melanocyte, melanoblast, and neural-crest stem cell lines derived from embryonic mouse skin. These mutant cell lines are used to study the actions of mutated genes, which affect many body systems besides pigment cells. To date, these cell lines have been used in research on topics including cell differentiation, organelle biosynthesis and transport, protein transport, growth control, cancer and many others.

These cell lines therefore not only add value to many areas of pigment cell research including cell biology, developmental biology, molecular biology, genetics, microscopy, physiology, pathophysiology, ageing and cancer, but also to research involving most major organ systems – eyes, ears, and blood, nervous, respiratory, digestive, excretory and skeletal systems, and disorders such as inflammation, thrombosis and allergy among others.

Colour mutations in mice often have an orthologous mutation in humans with associated pathological effects. There is ready interchange between the advances in pigmentary genetics in the mouse and human, which increases the relevance of these cell lines. Thus, a very broad range of body systems, cellular mechanisms and disorders is addressed by this collection of cell lines.

The majority of cell lines with pigmentary mutations were derived from the C57BL/6J strain mice to exclude confounding differences due to strain background. This is a benefit over human cell lines that have many polymorphisms that can affect biological processes independent of known mutations. Several melanocyte (melan-Ink4a-Arf) lines on the C57BL/6J strain background (genotype a/a) were deposited with These and some other deposited lines have mutations at the Ink4a-Arf locus that make spontaneous immortalisation routine. Other lines were derived by rare spontaneous immortalisation. Melan-Ink4a-Arf lines are used in applications like the widely used cell line melan-a that immortalised spontaneously. When mutant cell lines were established from mice of other backgrounds, the corresponding wild-type cell lines were established from littermate controls.

Discover more about Dr. Elena Sviderskaya's cell lines:

Access the cell lines


About is the first-of-its-kind non-profit, cancer-focused biorepository where researchers can deposit research tools they have developed in their labs including antibodies, cell lines, organoids, small molecules, mouse models, cell culture media and other state-of- the-art technologies. With our in-house production and global coverage, we can produce, store and supply these tools to fellow scientists in their research to deepen our understanding of cancer and drive innovation.

About St George’s University of London

St George’s, University of London is the UK’s only university dedicated to medical, biomedical and allied health education, training and research. Sharing a clinical environment with a major London teaching hospital in southwest London, our innovative approach to education results in well-rounded and highly skilled clinicians, scientists, and health and social care professionals.

An independent member of the University of London, we have a long and illustrious history of training healthcare professionals, dating back more than 270 years. We are well known for our innovative approach to medical education, being the first UK institution to launch a Graduate Entry Medicine Programme – a four-year fast-track medical degree course open to graduates in any discipline. St Georges’ is the number one university in the UK for Graduate Prospects (on track), according to the Complete University Guide 2024 and second for Graduate Prospects in the recently published Times UK University Rankings for 2024.

Our internationally recognised research delivers cutting-edge scientific discovery through four specialist Research Institutes, directly helping patients through our close links to the clinical frontline and London’s diverse community. We were ranked joint 8th in the country for research impact in the last REF (2021) with 36% of St George’s research assessed as ‘world-leading’ and 100% of our impact cases judged as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent.’ Our Institutes focus on biomedical and scientific discovery, advancing the prevention and treatment of disease in the fields of population health, neuroscience, heart disease and infection – four of the greatest challenges to global health in the 21st century.

About the Functional Genomics Cell Bank

The Wellcome Trust has funded a mammalian cell bank (a collection of cell cultures) at St George’s, University of London, in association with the Molecular and Cellular Sciences Section, Neuroscience and Cell Biology Research Institute. The bank specialises in mouse melanocyte and melanoblast lines carrying a variety of pigmentary mutations. Other cell types include immortal human melanocytes, melanoma cell lines, fibroblasts, keratinocytes, mammary epithelial cells, myoblasts, and stem cells.

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