Iyadh Douagi, PhD.
Candidate for ISAC Council
Flow cytometry, has been the epicenter of my career. I have been actively involved in Flow Cytometry for over 20 years combining experience from both industry and academic flow cytometry laboratories. I’m currently Assistant Professor and Director of the Flow Cytometry Facility at the Department of Medicine at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden. I received my Ph.D. in Immunology (2001) from the Pasteur Institute in Paris in the laboratory of Ana Cumano followed by a postdoctoral training at the department of Safety Assessment, AstraZeneca in Sweden, where I contributed to set up and validate novel predictive in vitro assays for Immuno and hematotoxicity during drug development. I joined the Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control in Stockholm in 2004 as senior research fellow to work in vaccine research, with a specific goal to exploit basic immunological concepts of innate and adaptive immunity to device improved vaccines against HIV. I had the privilege to visit the Vaccine Research Center, NIH and the laboratory of Mario Roederer in 2006, where I was introduced to high-end flow cytometry applications for the assessment of HIV-specific T cell responses in non-human primates and in clinical specimens. Learning fundamental concepts of instrument quality control (in the pre-CST era) and biosafety practice in cell sorting from leading experts at the premier biomedical research facility in the world, opened my eyes to the colourful world of cytometry. In 2009, I was appointed Assistant Professor at the Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology at Karolinska Institute and focused my research on the development of single-cell technologies for defining the functional repertoire of antigen-specific B cells and how these can differ across vaccine regimens. In 2011, I was recruited to the Department of Medicine at KI to setup a new flow cytometry laboratory, first as Manager and later as Director of the facility. Our laboratory has progressively grown to become a central core facility at Karolinska, providing a broad range of flow cytometric services in support to of basic and translational biomedical research. I have participated on the faculty of several international flow cytometry courses and workshops and led a doctoral course in flow cytometry which I initiated in 2012. In my current roles as secretary of Swedish Society for Flow Cytometry and chair of the KI flow network, I continue to strongly advocate the importance of education in support to the next generation of cytometrists. I strive to identify new opportunities to integrate science & technology with research education and to outreach to different communities, and was privileged to recently contribute to the 2017 Nobel Teacher Summit in Stockholm.
It is an honor to be nominated to stand for election to the ISAC council. If elected, I commit to enthusiastically contribute to the service of the council and our Society and to strengthen our common mission. In particular, I would strive to:
Reinforce the ISAC vision by advancing the impact of cytometry in meeting current and emerging scientific needs.
We can hardly ignore the pace at which the landscape of science and technology surrounding our field of cytometry is changing. With the diversity of our members representing both academia and industry, it remains challenging to timely picture and meet such different needs. I advocate more frequent use of targeted short surveys to sense emerging demands from our members, which should also contribute to increased transparency in the work driven by different ISAC Committees.
Promote partnerships between academia and industry.
I firmly believe in the power of sharing know-how among the greater scientific community to accelerate discoveries. The SRL community has an increasingly important role in bridging between academia and industry. By helping scientists realize their discovery dreams, and using advanced technologies and expertise to empower them. By promoting strong and transparent partnerships between academia and industry, we can start to meet urgent needs within our community. Such example is instrument standardization, which remains the main showstopper for any efforts to address the reproducibility crisis in biomedical research.
Facilitate access to E-Learning.
ISAC is an international society with today more than 1,700 members in 52 countries around the globe. Expanding on the great CytoU initiative, though live webcasting of presentations from the annual Cyto meeting should encourage participation by members for whom travel to the meeting is not possible due to constraints such as health, finance or long travel time. I also believe that the launch of a YouTube channel dedicated to FLOW CYTOMETRY where educative video material and selected presentations from cytometry related events around the globe can be compiled in a single place, would constitute a valuable E-learning asset for our entire flow community and a complement to the current ISAC homepage.
Promote a cytometry outreach program supporting STEM education and science communication to inspire and motivate new generation of scientist.
Cytometry is the de facto
example of multidisciplinary science, bridging physical, chemical and biomedical sciences. Our flow cytometry facility was lucky to join the last European Researchers’ Night 2017, a Europe-wide public event dedicated to popular science and fun learning which takes place each year on the last Friday in September. Around 30 countries and over 300 cities were involved. I hope to contribute to extend this initiative within the ISAC community and spread it further around other countries.
Shed “brighter” light on our profession and promote knowledge transfer and exchange
Retaining highly competent staff and recruiting the best scientists to field of cytometry is key to any research environment being academic, clinical or industrial. We need to join forces to showcase our profession, make it more visible and rewarding. This could be achieved typically through support for continued competence development and by promoting mobility and Knowledge transfer via an exchange program to visit other labs.
As member of the council, I hope to bring a combined experience from academia, shared resource lab and industry, to extend the efforts that have been initiated, and contribute with fresh perspectives to enhance the value of the society to all fellow members.