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We welcome Flow Cytometry expert Dr William Telford

21 August 2012

This month we have been extremely fortunate to secure the expertise of one of the world’s leading lights of flow cytometry, Dr William Telford.

Flow cytometry is a powerful analytical tool that is used to study immune cells.  It is fundamental to the development of vaccines and immune-based therapies for the treatment of disease and therefore underpins all our research programmes. For the past decade the Malaghan Institute has devoted considerable energy into establishing a state-of-the-art flow cytometry facility, providing access to technology unavailable elsewhere in this country.  With Dr Telford’s expertise at hand, we are about to witness even greater advancements in what we will be able to do with flow cytometry at the Malaghan Institute.

Dr Telford heads the Flow Cytometry Core Laboratory at the Experimental Transplantation and Immunology Branch of the National Cancer Institute, at the National Institutes of Health, in Bethesda, USA.  Over the last few weeks Dr Telford has been lending his considerable expertise to our researchers, and assisting them with new flow cytometry techniques.  Dr Telford is also installing a new laser on our cell sorter, which will open up a whole new range of exciting applications for our scientists.

Lasers are Dr Telford’s specialty and earlier this month he gave a seminar at the Institute entitled “Novel laser sources for flow cytometry: covering the entire visible spectrum” where he discussed the latest developments in laser technology and how this impacts on our ability to use flow cytometry to address complex biological questions. 

Dr Telford says “In the last ten years we have seen a dramatic jump in the data collection and analysis capabilities of flow cytometers and other biomedical technologies using fluorescence.  Laser technology is now available that makes our excitation capabilities [and hence the flexibility to investigate multiple properties of cells] essentially limitless.”

At 1 pm on Friday 24 August, Dr Telford will give a second seminar at the Malaghan Institute “Fluorescent proteins for flow cytometry.”

We are very grateful to Dr Telford for making the time to visit New Zealand and work with our scientists, and to our Flow Cytomety Manager, Kylie Price, who is currently on a technology transfer sabbatical in Spain, for inviting Dr Telford.

We would like to acknowledge the Hugh Green Foundation, the Maurice Wilkins Centre, Lottery Health Research, The Thompson Family Foundation Inc and Frank Millar & Co Wellington Ltd for supporting our flow cytometry laboratories.  Kylie Price’s sabbatical has been made possible by the generous support of the Roy & Joan Watson Trust.