Academic scientists and principal investigators worldwide have recognized the unparalleled ability of flow and image cytometry to describe cellular functions at the level of individual cells, and it is widely used to explore these functions across all kingdoms of life.
Cytometry provides the ability to rapidly determine the functional properties of individual cells, subcellular organelles, and other biological and non-biological particles. Advances in instrumentation and in reagent design now allow simultaneous multiplexed optical analysis of as many as 30 different cellular parameters within individual cells. Specialized equipment incorporating mass spectrometry has further extended this to 50 or more parameters.
Flow cytometers have the ability to sort individual cells, organelles, and non-cellular particles based on their optical properties, and can be used to isolate large numbers of samples for further analysis and characterization. At the other extreme, flow sorting can be done of single cells and organelles, providing a window into the characteristics of individuals within populations.
Since cytometric instruments are generally expensive to acquire and complicated to operate, many are located within multi-user Shared Resource Laboratories (SRLs). Academic scientists and principal investigators therefore need to learn how to optimally interact with these laboratories and their personnel.
ISAC plays a crucial role in the relationship between academic scientists, principal investigators, cytometric instrumentation, and manufacturers. At its annual CYTO conference
, scientists are able to learn about the latest advances in techniques and instruments. They can directly discuss with manufacturers aspects of individual instruments, and learn about best practices in their use. They can learn from platform presentation and poster sessions about scientific advances, and network with fellow scientists to generate new collaborations.
Beyond the annual meeting, ISAC is involved in publication of Cytometry Part A, the primary journal of this area of science, in organizing a variety of satellite meetings, and in promoting cytometry education using a variety of media formats.
Below are some of ISAC’s resources, programs and events that will be of particular value to those coming from an Academic/PI background: