Dear cytometrists, colleagues and friends,
It is an honour to be nominated for the position of ISAC Council member. Beyond a recognition of my contribution to the society it is a challenge I am delighted to undertake.
As an immunologist and responsible for the largest flow cytometry platform in South East Asia, cell analysis has been at the center stage of my work for the past 18 years. My early studies (PhD Immunology from the University of Sherbrooke, Canada) started with analysing membrane properties in immune cells. I have been pursuing the effort of understanding the effect of age on the immune system (Post-Doctoral studies at the Center for Medical Research, TŸbingen, Germany). In Singapore since 2010, I have contributed to build the reputation of the Singapore Immunology Network (SIgN), the immunology institute of the Biomedical Research Council at the Agency for Science Technology and Research (A*Star, Singapore). My main research interest is to understand how immune cells adapt during aging and how intervention studies may boost immunity in older age.
This required the set up of cross-sectional, longitudinal and intervention studies (clinical trials). This also required the right technical set up to enable quality of the research. This is why in parallel to my research activities I have taken the responsibility to support the research community with state-of-the-art flow cytometry support. Our 130+ publications have been cited more than 6900 times (1287 citations for 2017 only) showing the impact of our research and flow cytometry activities. Beyond the numbers, I would like to highlight the amazing work of my team, collaborators and community of scientists I am interacting with. Cytometrists have been great contributors.
The trust of ISAC in my abilities to contribute to the society is exemplified by the award of the Marylou Ingram Scholarship in 2011. Since then I have been involved in several activities related to CYTO meetings and more. For instance, I am engaged in training activities in South East Asia (Malaysia, Vietnam, Indian, Indonesia) and Africa. Recently we have successfully organised CYTOASIA in Singapore, a first of its kind.
Moving forward I am dedicated to take the position as councillor to help shape the future of ISAC. In a world of fast technological advances and health challenges, cytometry has an opportunity to become an even greater contributor to health-span. An essential point, in my opinion, is how to better standardise cytometry measures across studies. The optimisation of reagents, equipments and analytical tools is an enormous task. I have co-organised two workshops at CYTO conference to raise awareness on the topic and ISAC should pursue this direction. Other important goals are how to reach developing countries and how cytometry could support emergencies as recently shown by Ebola virus pandemic. ISAC could become a reference support center for such cases to accelerate diagnosis and evaluate treatment efficacy.
All this will be possible with commitment, continuation of the great effort made so far and adaptability to new challenges. It will be a great honour to join and work with the council to serve ISAC.
With my best regards,
Anis Larbi, PhD
Principal Investigator, Biology of Aging, SIgN
Flow Cytometry Facility, A*Star