Jessica B. Back, Ph.D., SCYM(ASCP)CM,
Associate Director, Microscopy, Imaging, and Cytometry Resources (MICR) Core, Karmanos Cancer Institute and Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
I am extremely grateful to have been nominated to run for ISAC Council and it would be an honor to be elected to serve the cytometry community. If elected, I would work toward continued expansion of our SRL initiatives and cytometry education offerings.
After receiving my Ph.D. in Biochemistry, I began a Post-Doctoral fellowship in Tumor Immunology with the goal of developing DNA-based cancer vaccines. Throughout my fellowship I used flow cytometry to advance my research and began to understand the unique strengths and opportunities this technology offers. In 2010 I began working in the Flow Cytometry unit and in 2011 was named Associate Director of the MICR Core, a shared resource laboratory (SRL) at Wayne State University (WSU) and the Karmanos Cancer Institute (KCI) in Detroit, Michigan. I became a member of ISAC in 2013 and became a Certified Cytometrist (formerly C.Cy., now SCYM(ASCP)CM
) in 2014. In 2015 I was named an ISAC SRL Emerging Leader. The SRL Emerging Leader Program has been an excellent mentorship opportunity that has allowed me to expand my involvement in the Society. Since 2015 I have participated in several aspects of the CYTO Conferences as a member of the Program and SRL Forum Organizing Committees, an Outstanding Poster Judge, co-chair of an SRL workshop, and co-chair of an upcoming Parallel Session at CYTO 2018. Additionally, I am a member of the Steering Committee for the Great Lakes International Imaging and Cytometry Association (GLIIFCA, an ISAC affiliated society) where I act as the Poster Session Coordinator and have been a frequent Round-Table topic leader. Finally, I represent ISAC as Vice-Chair of the ASCP BOC Cytometry Examination Committee responsible for developing and overseeing the administration of the new Specialist in Cytometry (SCYM) certification examination. The development of the new examination criteria and elevation of the certification to Specialist level was a labor of love and I am extremely proud of the work our committee has done to bring this new examination to fruition.
I am continually looking for ways that I may contribute to the cytometry community and believe that serving on ISAC Council will provide an excellent venue for me to share my perspective as an SRL member. SRLs are in the unique position of acting as a bridge between science and technology and I believe the increased representation of this segment of our membership in ISAC activities over the last several years has enhanced our Society’s Mission and Vision. Much of what SRLs do is focused on education and we must constantly stay abreast of the most recent advances in applications and technology. ISAC is a key player in this process, specifically through its educational opportunities and knowledge base as well as its role of supporting technological innovation. As a Council member I would like to continue the progress that has been made in the SRL tract with a focus on expanded training opportunities through CYTO, CytoU, and our affiliated societies.
I would also like to see ISAC increase our visibility as the experts in this field. CytoU is an excellent resource for our membership. I would like to see our knowledge base and brand spread to the broader scientific community, especially in those areas of the world that are under-represented within our membership. With the push toward making cytometry more accessible, we need to ensure that the quality and reproducibility of the data remain high.
Thanks to the efforts of current ISAC members and leadership I believe we are well-positioned to continue advancing the role of cytometry in scientific research. Expanding and increasing access to our current educational offerings and raising awareness of cytometry throughout the scientific community are the ISAC initiatives I would like to continue to advance if elected to Council.