4 April 2016
Last week 30 research scientists, clinicians and flow cytometry experts were at the Malaghan Institute for the first of five presentations on Polychromatic Flow Cytometry, featuring guest presenters Dr Pratip Chattopadhyay from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Thomas Ashhurst, a PhD scholar at the Viral Immunopathology Laboratory, University of Sydney.
Flow cytometry is routinely used by most researchers at the Malaghan Institute. It utilises lasers to excite fluorescent dyes that are attached to a cell type of interest via an antibody specific for that cell. This enables recognition, characterisation and subsequent sorting of cells. It is also used in the diagnosis of health disorders; in particular blood cancers.
Kylie Price, President of the Australasian Cytometry Society says, On-going cytometry education is extremely important for us as medical researchers and also for clinicians. It is a rapidly developing discipline. As we push the limits of this ever evolving technology, we uncover more about cells and subsets of cells in terms of their function in health and disease. Polychromatic flow cytometry provides the power to analyse, in great depth, the complex relationships between cellular subsets and function. In Dr Chattopadhyay we have the person who designed and executed the largest polychromatic flow cytometry study performed anywhere in the world to date. Even a quick scan of Wikipedia will tell you today that, The current record for a commercial instrument is ten lasers and 18 fluorescence detectors, however Dr Chattopadhyay has developed 20 and 30 parameter flow panels. We are so grateful to have him here in person.
Closer to home, in Sydney, Thomas Ashhurst is using advanced cytometry techniques, with a ten laser instrument allowing for 18 colour panel design and Australias first mass cytometry (CyTOF) for panels of over 30 parameters at his disposal, he investigates how bone marrow stem cells and progenitor cells are mobilised in response to viral infections of the central nervous system. His work is literally illuminating, the mechanisms of immunity and disease.
The Australasian Cytometry Society 2016 Roadshow in Polychromatic Flow Cytometry will move from Wellington to Perth, Brisbane and Sydney before finishing, mid-April, in Melbourne.