ISAC E-News -- Spring 2000
From the President
James V. Watson
In my newsletter article of last summer I highlighted some of the problems facing the Society. The most serious of these was that projected expenditure exceeded income by a substantial margin. Some inroads have been made into rectifying this situation by decreasing our running costs and raising the dues. However, the $15 increase in the latter has been almost completely off-set by an increase in the cost of Cytometry to the membership. Hence, administration of the Society is still almost entirely dependent on income from Cytometry royalties, interest on capital and surpluses from meetings.
In the past, the costs of running the society have been subsidised by surpluses made on the meetings held in the USA and the last two European congresses, Rimini and Bergen, resulted in substantial losses. However, the last USA meeting in Colorado Springs, ISAC XIX, only just broke even mainly because of a decrease of $60,000 in sponsorship which, in turn, was due to industrial consolidation. The projected running cost deficit for 1999 was reduced very substantially as the Samuel A. Latt II conference held at Hamilton Island, Australia, made a very modest surplus as opposed to a projected loss, and the meeting was very successful scientifically with about 120 attendees.
Clearly, more needs to be done to reduce expenditure and increase income. Introduction of detailed line-item budgeting by Treasurer Maria Pallavicini, and the Sherwood team has made it possible, for the first time, to see exactly where expenditures can be reduced. One item, which is already being curtailed, is the cost of the "leadership". This includes expenditure on such items as the interim committee meeting where costs were reduced by having the chairs of some of the standing committees submit written reports without attending the meeting in person. Also, the discretionary allowances of the President and the President-Elect have been slashed in half to $5,000, and neither Lisa nor myself have drawn on these monies to more than a few hundred dollars.
During the past two years, ISAC has provided some financial support for associated society meetings in Hungary, India and Poland totaling $20,000. Our overall policies here will have to be reviewed at the ISAC XX council meetings in the light of available finance and the returns. The latter include individual membership of the Society and institutional subscriptions to Cytometry that accrue from our investment in the Associated Societies. At present, it would seem to me that such "investments" cannot be sustained as the associated financial expenses far exceed the returns.
In order to help offset the costs of this years biennial congress in Montpellier, an ad hoc fund-raising committee was convened under the chairmanship of Vincent Shankey. This committee has been successful in raising a considerable quantity of sponsorship which, together with a US-NIH grant submitted by our treasurer will reduce substantially the initially projected deficit for ISAC XX. The Executive Committee, the Executive Director, Rick Koepke, plus the Sherwood team and various members of Council carried out a considerable amount of work to re-jig the Montpellier budget in order to contain expenditure. It is to the credit of The Sherwood Group, our Treasurer and the President-Elect that re-budgeting the congress on a number of occasions, with careful attention to line-item expenditures by Sherwood, was able to identify areas where savings could be made.
Four major administrative changes have been introduced during the last year. First, the Web site is now being handled by Sherwood with Dave Coder acting as Web site editor. The transition has been successful and it is hoped that this will introduce another source of income through advertising and hyperlinks to industrial Web sites. Second, all the finances from our publisher, John Wiley and Sons, are now being handled through our head office in Chicago which should enable us to keep track of our royalty and advertising income from Wiley more accurately. Third, we are in the process of changing our investment strategy and consultants from Dean Witter to Legg Mason who are specialists in non-profit organisation investment. This should increase our investment income and should enable us to re-coupe some modest losses sustained by the "crash" in the Asian financial markets in 1998. Finally, the Society has purchased the journal Bioimaging which should increase the overall general appeal of our lead journal Cytometry. This is particularly important for increasing the number of institutional subscriptions from which ISAC derives substantial royalties from our publisher.
We also explored the possibility of obtaining income from (a) teleconferencing of "hot topics", (b) interim technical focus meetings to be held in conjunction with vendors who will be equal partners and (c) holding laboratory management courses. These various initiatives were designed to increase the overall activity in the Society and hence, to increase our long-term renewable income. However, careful costing of these initiatives suggested that the returns would be very modest at best and these plans have been shelved until the Society has been returned to fiscal stability.
An ad hoc future focus group was convened to consider the future direction of the Society and a number of recommendations were made. The most important of these were based on the fundamental concept that ISAC has a technology base. Over the past decade or so our efforts have been increasingly diffused in the cell biology and clinical arenas. As a Society we cannot compete with the best in these areas and we should not try to do so; we cannot be all things to all people all the time. A number of suggestions, all based on broadening the technological base, were made which included incorporating the following areas within the Society, (a) Array technologies, (b) Image cytometry, (c) Bio-informatics including very large scale data handling and analysis, (d) Laser capture micro-dissection and (e) Interfacing between pure technology and cell biology applications.
Finally, our President-elect, Lisa Staiano-Coico, has put together an excellent and exciting scientific program for Montpellier and we are expecting over 900 delegates. You should already have received the abstract book which seems to get "thicker" at each congress and you will see that the program includes a substantial genetics/genomics section. Hopefully, this will stimulate non-ISAC investigators in these areas to consider joining the Society. I'm sure you will enjoy the science at the meeting, the conference venue, French hospitality, the historic city of Montpellier, its environs and I look forward to seeing you at ISAC XX.
Standing Committee Reports
REPORT of the EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE to ISAC COUNCIL May 20th 2000
by Jim Watson, President, 2-May-2000
The Executive Committee has again been in regular communication by conference call over the past year. The major topics of discussion and decision can be itemized under headings of finance, publications, meetings and general administration.
(i) Budget deficit
In December 1998 we were faced with projected budget deficits of $100,000 for 1999, $150,000 for Montpellier and $90,000 for 2000 giving a total of $340,000 over two years. These figures were regarded as overestimates by the Executive Committee but they did serve to illustrate the magnitude of the problem the Executive and Finance Committees have had to wrestle with over the past 18 months. At that rate of expenditure the Society would have spent all its reserves in 4 years and would have ceased to exist.
These budget estimates, prepared by Rick Koepke and Sherwood, reflect what the Society would like to spend compared with what we are able to spend based on income. Hence, the initial projected budget represents a tool to enable us to see exactly where, how and why expenditure might exceed income and hence, where we have to make choices. However, we can only make those choices if we know exactly where we are spending our money.
The only ways of eliminating a budget deficit are to reduce expenditure, increase income or preferably both and the Executive Committee's efforts will be considered under these headings.
(i) Decreasing expenditure
The largest single item of expenditure is the cost of the leadership and we took steps to reduce this at the interim Council meeting in May 1999. We normally invite the Chairs of all the Standing Committees, who are not on Council, to attend. On that occasion the Chairs of the Scientific Advisory and Membership Services committees, Cees Cornelisse and Alex Nakeff respectively, did not attend and their contributions were submitted as detailed reports. In addition, the discretionary allowances of the President and the President-Elect have been slashed in half to $5000, and neither Lisa nor myself have drawn on these monies to more than a few hundred dollars.
During the past two years, ISAC has provided some financial support for associated society meetings in Hungary, India and Poland totaling $14,000. Our overall policies here will have to be reviewed at the ISAC XX council meetings in the light of available finance and the returns. The latter include individual membership of the Society and institutional subscriptions to Cytometry that accrue from our investment in the Associated Societies. At present, it would seem to me that such "investments" cannot be sustained as the financial outgoings far exceed the returns.
(ii) Increasing revenue
A number of strategies for increasing Society revenues have been discussed as follows.
(a) Increasing the dues. The dues had not been increased for over 5 years and during that time the buying power of the $ has decreased by at least 15%. This was the most immediate means of increasing revenue. Although the Executive Committee had already been given authority to increase the dues by an amount equal to inflation we felt we should submit this request Council before increasing the dues to $125 this year. Council approved the request.
(b) Meetings. A number of suggestions have been put forward as income generating ventures. These include a DNA-array technology meeting the first of which has been incorporated into ISAC XX, a bead-based technology meeting; tele-conferencing being developed by Ann Hurley and finally a Laboratory Managers course. As the last three of these are attended by some degree of financial risk they have been put on hold pending improvements in our financial position.
(c) Web site - see below in section 2:iii.
(d) Fund raising committee. Congratulations and thanks are due to the fund raising committee, chaired by Vince Shankey, which has raised about $50,000 for ISAC XX. This has gone most of the way to making up the $60,000 sponsorship deficit experienced at ISAC XIX which largely was due to industrial consolidation.
(e) NIH grant. Congratulations and thanks are also due to Maria Pallavicini who submitted a grant request for funding to the NIH. We have received $10,000 for ISAC XX and a further $10,000 for ISAC XXI in San Diego.
(i) Cytometry incorporating Bioimaging
The falling impact factor of Cytometry is worrying. It was hoped that Bioimaging, which we have purchased from the Institute of Physics (IOP), will help to revive interest. However, no extra pages have been purchased, hence, the rejection rate may increase. Ted Young, a previous editor for Bioimaging, is now the "Bioimaging Editor" for Cytometry. All Cytometry finances from Wiley, including Editorial remuneration, are now channeled through Sherwood.
(ii) Clinical Communications in Cytometry (CCC).
There is a minority consensus that Cytometry and CCC should be disassociated. I think this is premature but at Council we will discuss this further at ISAC XX.
(iii) Web site
Changes have been, and are being, made to the web site. At the interim council meeting in May 1999 it was agreed that the web site editor (Dave Coder) and his editorial board should function in the same strategic manner as the editors of our other publications. They should be responsible for editorial oversight, scientific content and for developing ideas but Sherwood will be responsible for the nuts and bolts of maintaining the site. However, before any changes "go public" the editor and his team would scrutinize the updates on a private address. Dave Coder is stepping down as web site editor after the Montpellier meeting and the Scientific Communications Committee (SCC) has produced a job description for his replacement which should be advertised. In future more Society business should be conducted on the web and the SCC and Council was asked to consider a remunerated position for the editor, which Council approved. They should also consider advertising and posting up slides for lectures and tutorials that can be downloaded for a fee (less for members) as a means of generating income.
(i) Samuel A. Latt II Conference
The Samuel A. Latt II conference in Australia did not make the expected loss, predicted at one point to be about $15,000. The final surplus was about $1800 which was split between ISAC and the Australian association. Importantly the science was very good, there were 120 delegates and the location was superb.
(ii) ISAC XX - Montpellier Abstract submission/Program
Arrangement for ISAC XX have proceeded very smoothly. Our President-elect, Lisa Staiano-Coico, has put together an excellent and exciting scientific program and we are expecting over 900 delegates. Hopefully, the inclusion of a substantial genetics/genomics section will stimulate non-ISAC investigators in these areas to consider joining the Society. Unlike ISAC XIX we had in place an electronic submission process, a service purchased from Communities of Science, which has worked reasonably well and the abstract book was received about 4 weeks before the meeting which must be a record. Paul Robinson is putting the abstracts plus tables and diagrams on a CD-ROM and Council should consider this and the web-site as a future means of making the abstracts available to participants. The special issue of Cytometry for this years congress has cost about $25,000. There are approximately 600 abstracts and the cost of submitting each abstract was $12. Hence, the total cost of each abstract is about $50. Clearly, some savings can be made here and this needs to be discussed by Council and possibly in the general business meeting.
(iii) Samuel A. Latt III Conference
A proposal for a Samuel A. Latt III conference on genomics/array-technology/proteomics to be held in Detroit and sponsored by the Ford foundation has been made by Alex Nakeff. Setting up Samuel A. Latt conferences is the responsibility of the Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Committee (Cees Cornelisse) but the Nakeff proposal was set up by myself in a non-standard manner. I have written to Cees and the members of the Scientific Advisory Committee apologizing for "usurping" their role and responsibility but commending what promises to be a very exciting and timely meeting.
4) General Administration
Our Executive Director, Rick Koepke, took office just over two years ago and very rapidly got "up-to-speed" with Society business and organization. He has helped very considerably in streamlining the administration and in ironing-out a number of anomalies. He, in conjunction with our Secretary, Nigel Carter, has also been helping to "re-create" the "institutional memory" which suffered during the transition from Parker and Parker to the Sherwood Group. He has been particularly active in sorting out our finances in conjunction with our treasurer, Maria Pallavicini, which, for the first time, has enabled us to know exactly where we spend our money. Rick also suggested we review our investment policy and this has resulted in a change of our consultants from Dean Witter to Legg Mason.
Some complaints have been made to the Executive Committee about a general lack of communication between the Exec. Committee and Council. Most of the Exec. Committee's deliberations are pretty mundane dealing with everyday housekeeping issues. The results of those deliberations are distributed to the Council via e-mail. Our secretary, Nigel Carter, has placed recent Council meeting minutes on the web site so if anyone wishes to know how and why decisions were made you now have access to all the information.
We are also initiating a formal management review process and the report of this as well as the future focus group report will be submitted to Council under separate covers.
Purpose: Advise the ISAC Treasurer and the Sherwood ISAC director in financial matters, to review expenditures, budgets, and issues that impact the financial status of ISAC
Chair: Maria Pallavicini
Date Report Completed: March 1, 2000
Activity completed since last Congress:
The Finance Committee held 10 conference calls. During these conference calls we reviewed monthly statements of society expenditures, performance of the investment portfolio, and compliance with budget projections. As a result of reviews and budget projections, the Finance Committee made the following recommendations (which were approved by Council):
1) Restructure the ISAC investment portfolio and allocation of Society monies.
The Finance Committee recommended that funds held by ISAC be divided into three separate investment pools: Operating Fund, Emergency Reserve Fund, and Investment Fund. The Operating Fund is used to cover operating expenses and should contain $100,000. The Emergency Reserve Fund is intended to address potential losses if attendance at the biennial Congress is lower level than anticipated or if the Congress incurs extraordinary and unanticipated expenses. Based on the current XX Congress budget projections, the worst case scenario would probably be a loss of $300,000 (assuming 400 attendees, $25,000 in sponsorship and only 35 exhibitors). Thus, the Emergency Reserve Fund is established at $300,000 for the next year. The purpose of the Investment Fund is to maintain the financial stability of the association and enhance the purchasing power of funds held for future expenditures. The objectives of the portfolio represent a long-term goal of maximizing returns without exposure to undue risk, as defined herein. The portfolio shall be invested to minimize the probability of low negative total returns, defined as a one-year return worse than negative 20%. It is anticipated that a loss greater than this will occur no more than one out of twenty years. All funds not required to meet the purposes of the Operating and Emergency Reserve Funds shall be assigned to the Investment Fund. Currently $424,000 is assigned to the Long Term Investment Fund.
2). Change investment manager firms to Legg Mason. Portfolio performance was lower than expected in the previous years. Investment firms were reviewed and Legg Mason selected to maximize Society Fund performance, while retaining sufficient capital for operating expenses.
The Finance Committee prepared and submitted budgets for 1999 and 2000. At the May 1999 Council meeting, the Treasurer and Finance Committee were asked to bring the society to a neutral budget within 5 years. However, upon receipt of the 2000 budget, councilors desired that a neutral-surplus budget be generated for the year 2000. Councilors made numerous recommendations. The resultant projected 2000 budget, which was approved by Council, shows a projected surplus of ~$16,000.
Recommendations (future) to Council for Action: Compare management costs of Sherwood and others managing non-profit organizations
Budget Required: $2,500 for conference calls
Action Taken: See above and Treasurer's Report
MEMBERSHIP SERVICES COMMITTEE
1. MEMBERSHIP SERVICES COMMITTEE
Analysis: Y1978 - 2000
The total membership of ISAC reached a maximum of 1,838 members in Y1994 with a slow, but steady, decrease in number to the present figure in Y2000 of 1,745.
This overall decrease is most evident in the North American membership. Although this varied from 70-75% from Y1985 to Y1992, it has taken a steady decrease over the next 8 years to 52% in Y2000.
Conversely, the European membership (l8-20% up to Y1992) has increased steadily to 34% in Y2000.
The Australasian and South American memberships (4-9% and 1%, respectively, up to Y1992) have increased modestly to 11 and 2%, respectively.
- Has our total membership peaked?
- Where have the North American members gone? To CCS?
- How does this trend impact on our financial viability and on our commitments to Cytometry and Sherwood?
- Is there a commitment to significantly reverse this trend?
- If so, how do we do it?
- If not, how drastically do we need to change the "way we do business" to remain economically viable?
- Where are the young members who will constitute ISAC's future and how do we identify, attract, mentor and encourage them to become active participants in ISAC?
2. FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR MEMBERS
For the first time, the MSC developed criteria, procedures and application forms that were distributed widely for members to attend non-ISAC meetings. Two members were granted funds (after review of their applications). A half-page, post-meeting letter describing the value to the member of attending was not received (?).
The MSC developed criteria, procedures and application forms for early distribution in advance of ISAC XX abstract deadlines for students to compete for the President's Award for Excellence (oral), Exceptional Student Award (oral) and Outstanding Poster and Travel Awards.
The response was gratifying, with the most applications (59) ever received with a broad geographical distribution. $10,O00 was awarded for travel to 13 students (average = $770 per student) A total of $4,4O0 was set aside for the competitive awarding of the PAE, ESA and OPA winners. $2,300 was the surplus fund set-aside to support these activities in 2002 (ISAC XXI).
3. STUDENT MEMBERSHIP LIST
MSC reviewed and updated this list that will be made available on the Web page.
4. NEW MEMBER INITIATIVE FOR UNDER-REPRESENTED AREAS
A bust. No one signed up for a year's free membership with Cytometry in return for starting an ISAC-associated Society. Recommend it not be continued.
5. INDIVIDUALS RECEIVING COMPLIMENTARY SUBSCRIPTIONS TO CYTOMETRY
MSC compiled a list of these individuals to be available on the Web page for oversight review.
The Nominating Committee of ISAC presented the following slate of candidates for the 2000 Election. Elected candidates will take office at the ISAC XX International Congress in Montpellier, France.
As a cost-saving measure for the first election of the 21st century, we posted the candidate information electronically. Ballots were mailed to the ISAC membership. All voting members of ISAC were asked to select the candidates of your choice and return their ballots to the ISAC office.
The Nominating Committee is comprised of:
Joe W. Gray, Chair
Hans J. Tanke
David R. Parks
James V. Watson
Candidates for President-Elect
Harry A. Crissman
Paul J. Smith
Candidates for Secretary
Candidates for Council
Biological Cytometry (choose 3)
Anne A. Hurley
Clinical Cytometry (choose 2)
Jose Enrique O'Connor
Cytometric Technology (choose 1)
SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Purpose: To advice the President and Council on matters concerning scientific activities of ISAC , in particular the sponsoring of off-year meetings organized by affiliated societies or specialized groups.
Chair: Cees J. Cornelisse
Date Report Completed: 22-2-2000
Activity completed since last Congress:
Endorsement and sponsoring of meetings
SAC evaluated the following requests for ISAC-endorsement and sponsoring of meetings:
2nd International School of flow and Image Cytometry
Krakow, Poland, June 9-12, 1998
Society: Polish Cytometry Society
Organizer: Dr. J. Dobrucki
Support: Endorsement, Grant $4000 Loan $ 2500
7th Annual Flowdown Meeting
Detroit, USA, October 2-4, 1998
Society: The Great Lakes International Imaging and Flow Cytometry Society
Organizer: Dr. C. Stewart
Future trends in quantitative cytology for clinical and research applications
Debrecen, Hungary May 13-16, 1999
Society: Hungarian Biophysical Society
Organizers: Dr. F. Mandy, Dr. J. Szollosi
Support: Endorsement, Grant $5000
3d ADNAT Convention, Symposium+ Training Course
Hyderabad, India, February 23-March 7, 1999
Society: ADNAT Convention/Indian Cytometry Users Group
Organizer: Dr. Gopal Pande
Support: Endorsement, Grant $ 5000
4eConference of Polish Society of Cytometry
Gdansk, Poland, October 18-21, 1999
Society: Polish Society of Cytometry
Organizer: Dr. J. Bigda
Support: Request not granted because of late submission
The secretary of SAC developed a set of forms for sponsoring/endorsement requests available from the SAC web site for groups that want to apply for ISAC support.
On request of the ISAC secretary, SAC prepared a document on the Policy and Procedures for submission and evaluation of requests for ISAC-endorsement and financial support. Later on SAC agreed on a further formalization of the application procedure in order to be able to direct the support to the highest priorities. This revised procedure was implemented by the ISAC office in the beginning of 1999.
The SAC chairman participated in the ISAC Future Focus Conference Call on March 18, 1999. Recommendations made to Council were that in the light of the issue of expenditure reduction, Council should decide if the policy of financial sponsoring off-year meetings organized by affiliated societies of specialized groups should be continued or not. The possibility to specifically sponsor small scientific meetings aimed at redefining the future focus of ISAC should be considered. An active role of Council and SAC in initiating these meetings may be desirable.
On request of Council, SAC members formulated plans for small thematic meetings from the year 2000 onward concentrating on scientific content, experience of local organization and cost-effective venues and including the possibility of some combined meetings with other Societies.
Issues to be continued: --
Recommendations to Council for Action: To decide whether the policy of financially supporting meetings of the type of the Krakow, Debrecen and Hyderabad meeting will be continued.
Budget Required: A nominal budget of $1000 is requested for travel expenses. It should be noticed that so far, ISAC has not made use of such a budget.
SCIENTIFIC COMMUNICATIONS COMMITTEE/JOINT OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE
Purpose: Oversee ALL Society Communications
Chair: L. Scott Cram
Date Report Completed: March 28, 2000
Activity completed since last Congress:
- Negotiated annual institutional subscription rates for Cytometry and Clinical Communications in Cytometry.
- Established a new zero based funding procedure for Cytometry Editorial Office.
- Established new rate for color pages in our journals.
- Helped facilitate and advised Council on purchase of Bioimaging.
- Reviewed nominees for editorial boards.
- Negotiate new CCC/ISAC/Wiley contract.
- Distribution of advertising revenue between CCS and ISAC resolved.
Issues to be continued:
1. Establish close rapport with Wiley and Sons and our two Editors to understand pros and cons of several upcoming issues. Work with ISAC Council and present prioritized options on the following:
- Multiple year subscription rates (institutional, society, and students)
- Partnering with Wiley for electronic submission, peer review and tracking
- Cost of our editorial offices as compared with other similar editorial offices.
2. Review operation/production and costs associated with our Web site and meeting abstracts.
Recommendations to Council for Action:
For future meetings simplify meeting abstracts by not allowing figures and tables
A budget of $500 is recommended for the chairperson to make one trip to New York to meet with our editors and John Wiley and Sons, Colette Bean and colleagues.
AWARDS COMMITTEE (INCLUDING ROBERT HOOKE DISTINGUISHED LECTURE)
The following people will receive awards at the XX Congress in Montpellier, France:
Distinguished Service Award
L. Scott Cram and Carleton C. Stewart
Honorary Fellow Awards
Harry A. Crissman
Harald B. Steen
Robert Hooke Distinguished Lecture at XX Congress
Sir John Maddox, Where Science is Heading
Collection and dissemination of safety information in relation to flow and image cytometry.
Chair: Ingrid Schmid
Date Report Completed: 02-10-2000
Activities completed since last Congress:
1. Confirmation of Eric Wieder as biosafety committee member.
2. Lecture on Bio and Chemical Safety in the flow cytometry laboratory at the 6th Annual Southern California Optical Biology Users Group in Irvine, CA 1999 by Ingrid Schmid.
3. Conference call to discuss charter web-pages issues and safety issues in relation to image cytometry.
4. Generation of committee charter approved by ISAC Executive committee on 9/25/97.
5. Set-up of a new ISAC biosafety web page as part of the ISAC web page, announced on 11/2/98.
6. Conference call to discuss issues of alternate methods of testing cell sorters for aerosol containment and initiation of contacts to flow cytometry user group meetings for future safety lectures.
7. Maintained continued free access to the full text version of the ISAC guideline document through the biosafety web page.
8. Conference call to discuss the generation of a biosafety document to be added to the NIAID Division of AIDS Flow Cytometry Immunophenotyping Laboratory Manual.
9. Preparation of the Laboratory Manual document entitled "Biosafety Concerns for Flow Cytometric HIV Immunophenotyping: Questions and Answers" by Ingrid Schmid, Janet Nicholson and Annalisa Kunkl published on the web as part of the Adult AIDS Clinical Trial Group Web site at http://aactg.s-3.com/immlab.htm.
10. Generation of the review article "Biosafety Consideration for Flow Cytometric Analysis of Human Immunodeficiency Virus-Infected Samples" by Ingrid Schmid, Annalisa Kunkl, and Janet Nicholson published in Cytometry (Communications in Clinical Cytometry) 38:195, 1999.
11. Meeting of the Biosafety Committee at the 14th Annual Clinical Applications of Cytometry Meeting in Palm Springs in September, 1999, to discuss accomplishments and future directions of the committee.
Issues to be continued:
1. Maintain biosafety guidelines.
2. Educate investigators and operators of flow and image systems through lectures and workshops.
3. Investigate new strategies for measurement of the efficiency of aerosol containment during cell sorting.
4. Develop a better understanding of aerosols produced by jet-in-air flow cytometers.
5. Generate biosafety questionnaire for flow cytometry facilities.
6. Provide consultation of flow and image cytometry instrument safety to manufacturers.
7. Provide free full-text access to the 1999 review article through the biosafety Web site.
Recommendations to Council for Action: Search for a biosafety committee chair to replace Ingrid Schmid whose term ends at the XXth ISAC Congress
Chair: Editor-in-Chief Jan W.M. Visser
Date Report Completed: 5-5-00
Activity completed since last Congress: See attached report
Issues to be continued: See report by Scientific Communciations Committee/Joint Oversight Committee
Recommendations to Council for Action: See report by Scientific Communciations Committee/Joint Oversight Committee
Budget required: US $86,431; see attached spread sheet
Cytometry Journal Report, May 2000
by Jan W.M. Visser Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief
Cytometry, the journal of ISAC, is in good shape with a healthy in-flow of excellent manuscripts, a dedicated group of expert associate editors, decreasing turn-around times, an increasing impact factor and improved accessibility through Internet. Our goals are to enhance the quality of the journal further while maintaining the current number of publications. For this purpose we will attract new editorial board members who cover emerging fields such as microarray technology and gene expression analysis, we will solicit more review articles to improve the impact factor, and we are exploring the development of an electronic submission system with Wiley to speed up the manuscript handling.
The major event since the last ISAC meeting has been the merger with Bioimaging. The first issue of Cytometry/Bioimaging was published as the July 1999 issue of Cytometry. It contained selected manuscripts from the Meeting on Single Molecule Detection held in Berlin, September 1998. It is an interesting set of papers that fits Cytometry very well. The Single Molecule Detection Meeting is an annual event and I hope that we will have the opportunity to publish more manuscripts from those meetings in the future.
Ted Young and Tom Jovin were the editors of Bioimaging. Tom resigned and Ted agreed to stay on to be the Bioimaging Editor of Cytometry. He recommended 15 new names to merge the Editorial Boards. The ISAC Scientific Communications Committee approved the list and we asked these colleagues to serve on the Cytometry/Bioimaging editorial board. This resulted in a significant expansion of the board, which was helpful because of our new policy to ask the associate editors and reviewers whether they are available to handle a manuscript before we send it. This reduces the overall time for the processing of submissions, but it also reduces the number of available associate editors and reviewers. In view of this it was efficient to increase the number of editorial board members.
The number of regular manuscripts submitted directly to the Bioimaging editor is low. It is not clear to me at present whether the authors who used to submit manuscripts to Bioimaging are now using the regular Cytometry submission offices or whether they submit their manuscripts elsewhere. I intend to investigate this at the ISAC meeting.
The turn-around-time for submitted manuscripts is one of the most important parameters for authors to choose a journal. We have attempted to speed up the review process and had some success in 1998, but the events surrounding the merger with Bioimaging brought us temporarily back to where we were early 1998. The last manuscript for the special issue on Single Molecule Detection was mailed to us in March 1999. We processed the set of manuscripts as quickly as we could and gave it the highest priority. This happened at the expense of our regular submissions. Our authors noticed some delays. We offered our apologies and explained the new situation. After the publication of the special issue in July the situation improved significantly. Volume 37 (September - December 1999) contains 41 papers, which were accepted for publication with an average of 27 weeks after receiving the original manuscript in our office. For Volume 39 (January - April 2000) containing 40 papers this average was 23 weeks. The range was wide: 3 to 56 weeks for Volume 39. The time depended mostly on the quality of the submission. Excellent manuscripts requiring no or minor revisions took between 3 and 13 weeks, manuscripts requiring major revision or additional experiments between 16 and 24 weeks, repeated revisions and complete rewrites took 28 to 41 weeks. Three manuscripts took longer than this because of additional difficulties. Until recently, we asked authors to resubmit within 4 months. This is now shortened to two months in an effort to reduce the total turn-around-time. The time-in-mail is still an important part of the total time even though we use express mail more often than in the past. Significant improvements are expected when electronic submission and review becomes possible.
At present, we filled the August issue with manuscripts received in final version mostly in April. The backlog in my office is less than one month, which absorbs fluctuations in the arrival of manuscripts. The manuscript due date at Wiley for the September 1 cover date is May 11. The publisher/printer combination typically needs three months; the September issue will be mailed in August.
Special issues and review articles are in the pipeline. James Jacobberger and myself are successfully contacting potential authors for review articles. Manuscripts from last year's Single Molecule Detection Meeting and Samuel Latt Meeting are being collected. Dr. Hewitt sent me a proposal for a special issue on microbiology. Special issues and review articles are of great value for our members. I welcome ideas and initiatives to improve the journal in this respect.
The number of manuscripts received is rather constant. Therefore I estimate that the number of pages needed will be similar as last year, i.e. a page allowance of 96 pages per issue, 12 issues per year including special issues. Charles Goolsbyâ€™s office of CCC and our office keep in touch regularly to exchange manuscripts. There are always manuscripts that could as well be published in CCC as in Cytometry. We will use these to adjust the size of each issue and to speed up publication.
An alternative would be to pay for extra pages using the page charge income, which is received by the ISAC office. At present that does not seem necessary for the years 2000 and 2001. A third option would be to raise the rejection rate. I do not think that this is appropriate at present. We reject about 40 % of the submitted manuscripts. The accepted once are always significantly improved in the course of the review process and finally accepted based on sufficient quality. We are experiencing a slight, probably temporary increase in the number of manuscripts submitted, because of the coming ISAC meeting. In view of this all, the current page allowance is adequate and we have other possibilities if we need more pages.
Budgets have been sufficient to set up and maintain the office in New York and to support the European editor and the Bioimaging editor. The budget for 2000 has been discussed in detail with the ISAC Scientific Communications Committee resulting in substantial savings for the Society. Further reductions in costs are expected after the launching of electronic submission and electronic review. In addition, negotiations between the ISAC Scientific Communications Committee and the publisher, Wiley, resulted in significantly reduced costs for color figures. This should enhance the attractiveness and quality of the journal, because the price is now affordable for most of our authors and their institutions and very competitive in comparison with other journals.
In short, the journal does well, ideas are plentiful, there are many possibilities to realize the best ones and this must be a reflection of ISACâ€™s health and vitality. Cytometry is the prime publication of ISAC. The officers of the Society, the Scientific Communications Committee and many members are involved in the continuous adjustment of the journal to new fields in science and new opportunities in publishing. The authors, reviewers and associate editors and ultimately the readers, many of them ISAC members, determine the quality of the journal. The managing editor in my office and the editors at Wiley are of great help to get our manuscripts to the printer and ultimately to all readers and on the Web and to develop new possibilities.
I thank all of you who contributed to this important platform of the Society sincerely for your active participation, your enthusiasm and continuing support.
COMMUNICATIONS IN CLINICAL CYTOMETRY
Chair: Editor - Charles Goolsby
Date Report Completed: 2-26-00
Activity completed since last Congress: see attached report to ISAC Council
Issues to be continued: none
Recommendations to Council for Action: none
Budget required: $30,000; see attached for budget details
Editorial Office - Communications In Clinical Cytometry (CCC)
Report to ISAC Council - February 2000
Although a number of areas remain to be improved in working towards our goal of CCC becoming the leading journal in clinical cytometry, 1999 was a very good year for CCC. We have gone from barely making publication schedules and only partially full issues to full issues ready before publication deadline. In addition, the review process has been rigorous and the quality of both original articles and special features (Reviews, Perspectives, Regulatory Affairs) has been excellent. My deepest thanks to the Associate Editors, Editorial Board, Editorial Assistant, and to Wiley in making this happen.
Due to the hard work of the Associate Editors, Editorial Board and Editorial Assistant, Communications In Clinical Cytometry has made significant strides over the last year. Due to significant increases in the manuscript rejection rate following the transfer of Journal editorial activities to Chicago, production schedules were difficult to meet during 1998. Although all issues were published during the month scheduled for that issue, in all cases final manuscripts for the issue were generally transferred to Wiley within weeks of the issue date, rather than the typical two to three months. Only through the extremely diligent and dedicated efforts of Wiley were all issues released within the month of their scheduled publication date. I am sure that all at Wiley were putting in an extra effort to accomplish this but a very special thanks is expressed to Karen Accavallo. She is always in a great mood, positive, encouraging, and supportive of CCC and a joy to work with. She has always come through for CCC. Without her incredible efforts and support during this period, production schedules would not have been met. In addition, the lack of accepted manuscripts in the pipeline during 1998 meant that many issues were on the thin side averaging approximately 3 manuscripts per issue. The small number of manuscripts per issue was helped beginning with mid-1998, since new sections (Perspectives, Journal Club) were added and old sections revitalized (Regulatory Affairs). Also, excellent review articles appeared in numbers 4 and 5 of 1998. Nonetheless, on average we were only using approximately 60% of our budgeted pages. Happily we have turned the corner in 1999. Although in early 1999 issues were still thin, the material was sent to Wiley 1-2 months ahead of publication rather than weeks before. By mid-1999, we were filling our issues with Volume 38, #5 having 7 original articles, 1 Review and the Journal Club. Volume 38 #6 had 6 original articles, 1 Review, abstracts from the 14th Annual Clinical Cytometry Society meeting and Journal Club. Lastly, the first issue of 2000 (Volume 42, #1) dated February 15 was our biggest issue yet (82 pages) with 10 original articles, 1 Rapid Communication, Journal Club, and a Perspectives column. This increase has been accomplished while maintaining a critical review process as evidenced by a respectable rejection rate of 50 - 60%. For a discussion of the numbers of manuscripts submitted and their geographical distribution, one is referred to the Editorial Board Report of September, 1999 which was distributed to Council earlier.
Enhancing the statue of CCC and ensuring an increasing impact (impact factor) for CCC is a multifaceted problem. Clearly, attracting and publishing the highest quality articles through a tough, thorough but fair review process is critical. However, other aspects of the Journal are also equally important and key to this effort. High quality, highly relevant review articles are an important part of this goal and can have a significant effect on the impact factor for the Journal. In this regard, the two Associate Editors for Reviews, Frank Mandy and Vince Shankey, have done an outstanding job in this area. Not coming on board until near the end of the first quarter of 1998, they generated two excellent reviews in 1998 (V.34, #s 4 and 5) and we have had 5 review articles in 1999 with only V34, #4 not having a review article in 1999. For a list of published review articles, one is referred to Appendix 1 of the Editorial Board Report for September, 1999 distributed earlier. I should point out that the review article appearing in the February 15, 1999 issue by Jim Watson led to complimentary remarks and free advertisement on the Purdue Cytometry Mailing List. My thanks to all the review article authors and accolades to both Frank and Vince for an outstanding effort!! We urge you to pass any thoughts for review articles along to either Frank Mandy, Vince Shankey, or myself. We are on target for 4-5 reviews in the six issues of 2000 as well.
In addition to re-vitalization of the Review articles in CCC, co-Associate Editors for Regulatory Affairs, Anne Hurley and Denise Zito, made a similar effort for the Regulatory Affairs column with three contributions for 1999 which are listed in Appendix 2 of the Editorial Board report for 1999. Two new features were begun in mid-1998. One section, Perspectives, is to highlight expert opinion in areas of high interest or controversy in clinical cytometry. Paul Hurtubise and Jan Nicholson serve as co-Associate Editors for this section and provided two contributions in 1998 and one in 1999. Two, published in sequential issues, contrasting opinions on the use and need for isotypic controls in clinical immunophenotyping generated significant interest and comments from the community. This discussion culminated in sequential presentations by both authors, Maurice O'Gorman and Mike Keeney, at the 14th Annual CCS meeting which was followed by a spirited discussion involving both presenters and the audience. Both the Perspectives and Regulatory Affairs features are very important to the mission of CCC in keeping readers abreast of current issues and controversies in clinical cytometry. They are equally important in setting the tone if CCC is to become the definitive Journal in the area of clinical cytometry. Again, we urge you all to communicate any suggestions you may have for either Regulatory Affairs or Perspectives.
The other new section, Journal Club, highlights articles in other journals which may be of interest to the readers of CCC. Since August, 1998, this has been a regular feature in CCC. Phil McCoy serves as Associate Editor for this section as well as for the Forum section. Our sincere thanks to Phil for preparing the Journal Club single handedly for the first few issues when it appeared. Without Phil's efforts this section would not have gotten off the ground. Our sincere thanks!! Beginning with March of 1999, we have asked a rotating group (5) of Editorial Board members to supply Phil with 4-6 articles (title, reference, short synopsis) from their regular readings which they feel are pertinent, high quality articles of relevance to the readers of CCC. Phil then compiles these into the Journal Club section. Although a bit sluggish in the beginning, Editorial Board members are now regularly coming through on this request. Informal feedback from readers to both Phil and myself has been very positive about this section. We sincerely thank, and appreciate the support of the Editorial Board members in contributing to this effort on a regular basis. The more features we have which get people to regularly pick up the Journal, the better.
Although rigorous and fair reviews are critical, these must be done in as rapid a time as possible. Although, overall, a number of indicators point to significant improvement in the health and quality of CCC, turn around times (TATs) have slipped to some extent, which is unacceptable. For 8/1/98 to 7/31/99, the median TAT from receipt to an initial decision back to the authors was 36 days (range 15 to 102). This compares to 21 days for the period 1/1/98 to 7/31/98 last year. The median time from receipt of the manuscript to distribution to the reviewers was 4 days (includes weekends). Lastly, the median time from receipt to a final decision on the manuscript is 139 days (range 27 to >200). Wiley's data (average times) for 1998 and for January - August 1999, were 16 weeks for receipt to acceptance in 1998 and 19 weeks in 1999. Acceptance to publication was 12 weeks in both years. Finally, the total time from receipt to publication was 27 weeks in 1998 and 25 weeks in 1999. In evaluating TATs, it is probably worth pointing out that the length of time for revisions by the authors is on average significantly longer than our initial review time. To some extent this may reflect the extent of revisions which are generally required, nonetheless, a major portion of the time from receipt to final decision or acceptance is the time with the authors for manuscript revision. However, a major effort will be made to bring this TAT down. The issues to reduce the TAT are many and a number of changes in procedures will be implemented in the Editorial Office. One involving myself will be to establish a better communication on journal issues when I am on travel to ensure that decisions about manuscripts and reviewers continue to be made promptly. We will also try to improve the office's utilization of e-mail in the review process including sending out the abstract via e-mail when we are asking someone to review a paper. We are also developing an e-mail review form. We are also considering a more frequent reminder process in which an e-mail would be sent to all reviewers at day 7 to ask if they received all materials and to remind them of the due date.
In closing, CCC has made significant strides in the last year including significant numbers of high quality review articles, incorporation of solid, highly relevant new features to the journal, a significant increase in manuscript submissions, and clearly, a tough but fair review process. Major new changes in 2000 are not anticipated but rather it should be a year to solidify the progress of the last year and a half. Reductions in the TAT will be a focus of the upcoming year as well as continuation of a major effort to recruit manuscripts from the cytometry, hematology/oncology, and pathology communities. At the present time, we are also beginning the planning process for a special issue, Cytometry in the Analysis and Study of Chronic Lymphoproliferative Disorders, which will be Guest Edited by Geri Marti.
COUNCIL OF ISAC ASSOCIATED SOCIETIES
REPORT of the ASSOCIATED SOCIETIES to ISAC COUNCIL May-2000, Montpellier, France
by James V. Watson, President, 27-Apr-2000
1) New associated members
During the last two years since the Council meeting at ISAC XIX in Colorado Springs the Indian Society has become associated after it was properly constitutes as follows.
(i) The Indian Flow Cytometry Users Group. Dr Gopal Pande is President of this Society and he suggested Dr. Harpreet Vohra become their second representative.
Dr. Harpreet Vohra,
Department of Experimental Medicine,
Postgraduate Institute for Medical Sciences,
Chandigarh 160012, India.
(ii) The Council approved the application by the Belgian Association for Cytometry to become as associated society. The President of this Society is
Dr. Dirk Van Bockstaele
Laboratory of Hematology
Antrerp University Hospital
(iii) The Chilean Cytometry Society. We received a request for meeting from Dr. Flavio Carrion of the Chilean Cytometry Society. We attempted to contact Dr. Carrion with information regarding application to become an associated society for IASC, however, I did not get any responses to my e-mails.
(iv) Austria. We were contacted by Dr. Wolfgang Hubl of the Wilhelimenspital/Zentrallabor, Wien, Austria, who edits an Austrian newsletter focusing on clinical flow cytometry. He indicated that they plan for form a society in the near future and we provided them with information on becoming an Associate Society of ISAC.
2) Meeting Sponsorship
ISAC has sponsored a number of meetings as follows
(i) The Polish Society teaching course in Krakow
(ii) The Hungarian meeting in Dbrechen/Epona
(iii) The Indian meeting in Hyderabad
3) Meeting Endorsement
ISAC has endorsed a number of meetings as follows
(i) GLIIFCA in Detroit
4) Evaluation of policy
During the past two years, ISAC has provided financial support for Associated Society meetings in Hungary, India and Poland totaling $14,000 from the membership services budget. Our overall policies here need to be reviewed at the ISAC XX council meetings. The objectives of these policies have been to increase our membership in the "developing" countries to include individual membership of the Society and institutional subscriptions to Cytometry. My evaluation is that these policies have failed as the Society has spent $14,000 with fewer than 10 extra members and NO institutional subscriptions to my knowledge. In view of our current financial problems it would seem to me that such "investments" cannot be sustained as the financial outgoings far exceed the returns.
DATA FILE STANDARDS
Purpose: Maintain & Develop Standards for Storage and Exchange of Data from Flow and Image Cytometry
Chair: Robert F. Murphy
Date Report Completed: February 25, 2000
Activity completed since last Congress:
With the adoption by ISAC Council of FCS 3.0 as an official ISAC standard at the last Congress, the next major task the committee has set for itself is the creation of a public domain suite for reading and writing FCS 3.0 files. Such a suite would further improve the degree of compliance with the FCS standard and increase standardization between instrument manufacturers, software vendors and researchers. The committee plans for the suite to be available as a plug-in or dynamic linked library for both commercial and researcher-generated software, so that transitions to future versions of FCS will be greatly simplified.
Future tasks are anticipated to include creation of a "Cytometry Keyword Dictionary" to standardize keywords and values for flow and image cytometry data.
The committee met in Pittsburgh in May 1999 and in Pacific Grove in October 1999. The next meeting will be in Montpelier in May 2000. A draft of an Application-Programmer Interface for FCS file reading and writing has been generated. A draft description of FCS in Backus Naur Form has been generated.
Issues to be continued:
The committee will present its work at the ISAC Congress and publicize the draft API for comment.
Recommendations to Council for Action: No action by Council is currently recommended.
DATA PRESENTATION STANDARDS
Purpose: To develop guidelines for flow cytometric display
Chair: Dorothy E. Lewis
Date Report Completed: 2/24/2000
Activity completed since last Congress:
A set of guidelines has been written and submitted to Council. A guidebook containing examples of proper and improper display using both Becton Dickinson and Coulter formats has been developed.
Issues to be continued:
Guidebook will be presented as Poster at ISAC meeting for membership review and suggestions for improvement. Eventually, guidebook should be available online and as a brochure.
Recommendations to Council for Action: Please comment on developed guidelines.
Budget Required: Please support monies to develop brochure.
FUTURE FOCUS COMMITTEE
REPORT of the FUTURE FOCUS COMMITTEE to ISAC COUNCIL May 20th 2000
by Jim Watson, President, 2-May-2000
The "Future Focus Committee" held a conference call on 18-March-99 and a full report of this call was submitted to the interim Council meeting at ISAC head office on June 5th 1999. The committee members, conclusions and recommendations are reproduced as follows.
James V. Watson
Ian T. Young
Following the "Future Focus Committee" conference call on 18-March-99 I have had a number of written responses and there is considerable agreement. The key themes running through everyone's replies were a return to our technological roots, what to do with Cytometry and CCC and concern with Society meetings.
1) Technological roots. Our Society, fundamentally, has a technological base. Over the past decade or so our efforts have been becomming increasingly diffused in the cell biology and clinical arenas. As a Society we cannot compete with the best in these areas and we should not try to do so, we cannot be all things to all people all the time. A number of suggestions, all based on broadening the technological base, were made and include incorporating the following within the Society.
(a) Array technologies.
(b) Image cytometry.
(i) Strengthen confocal microscopy.
(ii) Single molecule imaging.
(iii) MRI/PET imaging.
(iv) Mass spectrometry imaging.
(d) Very large scale data handling and analysis.
(f) Laser capture micro-dissection.
(g) We need to consider how we interface between pure technology and the cell biology applications
(h) Protein engineering
2) Cytometry and CCC. Most people are conserned about our journals and everyone recognises that the falling impact factor is a potential disaster. Due to financial constraints many libraries in Europe are considering dropping subscriptions to journals whose impact factors fall below 3.0. There is, however, no evidence to support the view that CCC "pulls down" the Cytometry impact factor as both currently stand at about 2.2 with no significant difference between them. Suggestions include the following.
(a) Fold back CCC into Cytometry keeping the current number of Cytometry pages.
(b) Drop CCC completely and give it to the Clinical Cytometry Society, CCS.
(c) Switch to electronic publication of Cytometry.
(d) Increase the number and quality of review articles with elected/editorial members being "required" to produce a review.
(e) Inform keynote and plenary congress speakers that a review manuscript will be required for submission to Cytometry.
(f) Decrease manuscript processing time - this should be a maximum of 6 months.
3) Society meetings. The composition, expense and frequency of the international congress was of concern and the following suggestions were made.
(a) Revert to a more technologically based program.
(b) Increasing the frequency of the International congress to 12-18 months and drop the "off-year" meetings.
(c) Investigate the possibilities of having combined meetings with other societies.
(d) Restrict the size of the meeting, on a first come first served basis, enabelling less expensive venues to be used.
(e) Stop the sponsorship program for Associated Societies.
(g) Future meetings with no exhibits
(h) Reorganise for 2002
(i) Choose 3 venues, West Coast/East Coast/Europe on a rotating basis. Suggestions included Asilomar, Hilton Head, York or Cambridge in the UK
4) Internet and web-page. A technological society such as ours should have a "world-class" web page giving up-to-date information about all types of society activities with links to other societies. This is in the process of being implemented and for details I refer you to my report to the interim Council meeting of June 5th 1999.
5) Name of Society. A number of people over the past 2 years have expressed the opinion that the International Society for Analytical Cytology is a very outdated name. Many people seem to have trouble with the "cytology" bit which is very restrictive and doesn't really convey what we do. Joe Gray has suggested we substitute Cytometry for Cytology - any suggestions would be welcome.
6) Expenditure Reduction. A number of suggestions were made for decreasing expenditure including reducing the number of committees particularly those that are inactive. However, I'd point out that we don't have many inactive committees and those that are inactive don't cost us anything however, that's not a reason for having them. The committee structure is under review with our Executive Director.
MEETING EVALUATION COMMITTEE -- report to come after XX Congress
REAGENT EVALUATION COMMITTEE
Evaluate feasibility of an ISAC Web-based informatics system for publishing data that validate an antibody for cytometric applications.
Chair: James W. Jacobberger
Date Report Completed: 5-11-2000
Activity completed since last Congress: This report comprises a full report for all activities since inception at Sam Latt I council meeting, June 1997.
Issues to be continued: see report
Recommendations to Council for Action: see report
Budget required: none
James. W. Jacobberger (Case Western Reserve University), Willem Corver (Leiden University), Alex Nakeff (Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, MI), David Parrish (MSA, Pittsburgh, PA), T. Vincent Shankey (Loyola University), Keith Shults (Cytometry Associates, Nashville, TN), Carlton Stewart (Roswell Park Institute), Frank Traganos (New York Cancer Institute), Susan Wormsley (formerly, Becton-Dickinson/PharMingen, San Diego, CA), Gunter Valet (Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie, Martinsried, Germany)
Minutes of inaugural meeting
The REC met formally at an initial meeting in Pittsburgh (lodging supported by MSA, travel supported by individual memberâ€™s institutions) in 1998 prior to ISAC IX. Attending members were Corver, Jacobberger (chair), Nakeff, Parrish, Shankey, Shults, Stewart, and Wormsley. Additional attendees were non-voting participants representing MSA (Rohloff, Opsonik).
Composition and mission of the committee were discussed. Discussion focused on criteria that would constitute a thorough evaluation of antibody probes. Action items were generation of sample data by committee members, generation of a draft document explaining the evaluation criteria, and generation of a sample Web site. At the meeting, a non-functional Web model was presented by Jacobberger. It was agreed that MSA would generate a draft working model that would include facilities for upload of a submission document, editorial access and critiquing of documents, public access and searching to accepted documents.
The REC has met informally at Tumor Heterogeneity III, Feb 1999, (Corver, Jacobberger, Shults, Parrish, Shankey, Stewart); formally at GLIIFCA 8, Oct 1999 (Jacobberger, Nakeff, Shankey, and Stewart); formally at Tumor Heterogeneity IV, Kananaskas, CA in Feb. 2000 (Corver, Jacobberger, Parrish, Shankey, Shults). In addition, Jacobberger has presented the REC antibody criteria in workshops or formal talks at ISAC XIX, GIIFCA 7, Clinical Cytometry Society Annual Meeting, and the Clinical Flow Cytometry Course at Northwestern University.
The following is a summary of the state of affairs, decisions made at the above meetings, and information gathered at presentations of REC discussions and ideas.
1) The draft document outlining REC criteria for an antibody to be considered valid for use in cytometric applications is about 50% complete. The criteria appear to be relatively well worked out. The document itself needs additional writing. This is projected to be finished in 2000. Recommendation is to send either the document or a condensed version of the document to Cytometry for publication.
2) An alpha version of the Web site was generated by MSA that proved to be buggy and unstable. It did serve to highlight the considerable problems involved in combining graphical, numeric, and text data for both evaluation by an editorial team and presentation for public access.
3) At public presentations of the idea of generating such a database, considerable lively discussions took place. Almost universally, the effort was deemed worthy and valuable. Some slight disagreements were voiced on the relative value of specific criteria, but all investigators agreed that validation was required. Some representatives of antibody marketing companies expressed concern that publication of negative data could be a tool for negatively impacting business in an unfair manner, and/or that negative or positive data would generate an after-market â€œheadacheâ€? in an unspecified manner. In general, however, antibody company representatives expressed support for ready accessibility of accurate data that represent the suitability of an antibody for cytometric applications.
4) The idea has been put forth that this Web-accessed database would function well as a journal within a journal effort of Cytometry. The need and value have been emphasized and demonstrated at each of the committee meetings and during presentations by the chair. This would require an editor, an editorial board, a server, and Web-manager (perhaps, the ISAC Web Editor). At this stage, MSA has bought a server, designed and produced a first attempt, unsatisfactory, model for such a Web-based system. The verbal agreement is that the code and the data belong to ISAC. Since there is presently no data resident at MSA, the legal aspect of this arrangement is not in question. Should the project go forward with MSA generating the code and maintaining the server, the legal aspects need to be formalized.
5) A sampling of some aspects of the type of data that would be present in this data base can be viewed in Jacobberger JW et al., 1999, Bivariate analysis of the p53 pathway to evaluate Ad-p53 gene therapy efficacy. Cytometry 38:201-13.
6) At the last meetings at GLIIFCA and TH IV, the lack of progress on this project was noted and contrasted to the value and need for such an entity. Jacobberger put forward the possibility that he would write an NIH grant as principal investigator to fund implementation of such an effort. The idea behind this is that the amount of effort at the front end of this project is greater than any volunteer effort can maintain and that this effort would fall within the scope of NIHâ€™s interests in biomedical informatics. This idea was accepted as an alternative to the slow progress at present. David Parrish indicated that under this type of arrangement, MSA would be interested in participation. Carl Stewart and Vince Shankey agreed to co-pi. The specific aims would be to 1) build the software to create and manage the database, and 2) generate validation data on an unspecified number of antibodies. The role of Jacobberger would be general management, identification or creation of positive and negative cell lines or tissues, generation of quantitative western blots, development of functional assays. The role of Stewart would be flow cytometric titrations and validation experiments on said cell lines. The role of Shankey would be generation of histochemical staining and in situ hybridizations on said cell lines. Either MSA would be retained on contract to develop the database and front end, and/or a programmer would be hired by Jacobberger to implement this aspect at Case Western Reserve University. A subset of the current REC would be put on the grant as consultants.
Recommendations to Council
1. The current committee should be encouraged to submit the written work to Cytometry prior to dissolution (see below).
2. The current committee should be dissolved. The feasibility and need have been established even if a working model has not been generated.
3. An action committee should be created composed of Jacobberger, Stewart, and Shankey with the defined purpose to write an NIH level proposal to fund this effort (defined above in item 6) within the next 12 months, or time period agreed on by committee members and council.
4. The first goals of this action committee should be to formalize the arrangement between the Principal Investigator, Co-investigators, consultants and the respective institutions involved (Universities wherein the work is done, MSA or other subcontractor, ISAC, Cytometry, and NIH).
5. The second goal of the action committee should be to write the grant.
6. An alternative to consider to above items 3-5 is for ISAC to fund the effort itself. Approximately 200,000 $US for 3 years should be entertained.
REGULATORY AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
Purpose: To research and inform ISAC constituents regarding the various regulatory concerns which they may encounter when using flow or image cytometry for clinical purposes. This would include any international efforts, as well as consensus and educational concerns.
Chair: Anne A. Hurley
Date Report Completed: 10 April 00
- We remain very active as editors and contributors to Communications in Clinical Cytometry. Our next article from Walter Oliveria discusses the
updating of the Oualification for Cytometry exam given by ASCPII SAC. Oliveria also discusses the needs of the current cytometry laboratories for such a Oualification and the benefits to those that are certified.
Following that issue, Helene Paxton will write an article regarding CAP inspections and the inspection process.
- Since the FDA inspectors have adopted our CLIA Compliance Manual for
Cytometry, Denise Zito and I are planning a second revision to cover any of the new amendments
- Rick Koepke and I continue to work on my interactive computer conferencing plan. Although we (Rick, the Executive Committee and I) have had numerous discussions throughout the year, the strategy has yet to be finalized. I strongly believe that this offers both a wonderful opportunity for our membership to learn (especially in the off-Congress year), and a great source of revenue for ISAC. Unfortunately, as we continue to delay, a number of other organizations are now jumping on the computer conference idea. In my position on the ASCP Board of Registry Immunology Examination Committee, I have the opportunity to relay ISAC's viewpoint and concerns on a much larger scope to a bigger audience. Some time ago, at my Committee's urging, Rick Koepke approached the ASCP for ISAC to become an ~iate member of ASCP. All that is needed is that ISAC be prepared to pay for our representative to attend the annual ASCP Immunology Examination Committee (under whose auspices the Flow Cytometry Qualification is given). This then ensures that ISAC's voice be heard and allow ISAC to publish all of its events (meetings, computer conferences, consensus forums) in all of the ASCP materials. This is quite a large audience. Unfortunately, the minimal budget we requested to support this activity has been declined and the members of the RA Committee are gravely concerned about the future of ISAC's ability to be
proactive in our future.
- Quite a few applicants continue to take the Oualification in Cytometry through ASCP; and I continue to serve as a judge for this exam.
Issues to be continued: See above
Recommendations to Council for Action:
- I would like input from Council regarding how we can best use our position in ASCP to further our concerns.
- Please let me know your thoughts on my Committee's activities.
Budget Required: Travel and hotel lodging for one or two nights at the annual ASCP Immunology Exam Committee for one ISAC delegate.
PLEASE NOTE: The Regulatory Affairs Committee has operated as such for quite a few years. We have tackled many issues and have a solid body of work behind us. I strongly believe we must remain a standing committee so that we can continue to be responsive to the ongoing changes in the regulatory environment and keep our membership informed. At specific times. and for specific projects, we can take on more members as a task force component to the standing committee.
Proposed name of the committee: The Regulatory Affairs Committee
Mission of the committee: To research and inform ISAC constituents regarding the various regulatory concerns which they may encounter when using flow or image cytometry for clinical purposes. This would include any international efforts, as well as consensus and educational concerns
Number of members needed on the committee: Five permanent members, additional appointments as needed for specific projects.
Specific knowledge or expertise desired in committee members: Knowledge of the regulatory environment for the clinical use of image and flow cytometry. These areas could include: examinations, inspections, regulations, guidances and laws, laboratory charges, and reimbursement issues.
Suggested name for chair of task force: Anne A. Hurley, Ph.D.
Suggested names of committee members: Denise Zito, Louise Magnider, Jenny Bryant, Gunter Valet.
Suggested start date for the committee: ongoing
Expected duration of the committee: ongoing
Specific outputs to be delivered by task force and projected dates of completion for each output: To be determined. As can be noted in my Committee Report, many projects are ongoing, and many are at a stalemate.
Budget required for the committee (list specific items on which funds will be spent): At a minimum. funds to support one member to be part of the ASCP Immunology Examination Committee.
Anticipated revenue resulting from the work of the Committee: Yet to be determined, although revenue from the CLIA Manual and the computer conferencing courses should be fairly substantial.
Other organizations with which committee will collaborate to complete its work: ASCP, CAP, FDA, CDC, and HCFA
Person submitting form: Anne A. Hurley Date form submitted: 17 May 00
ISAC Seeking Web Site Editor
ISAC's redesigned web site requires an editor to develop and review content for accuracy and timeliness, and determine functionality. The Editor will be the main contact for potential content providers and headquarters staff.
The Editor will be expected to:
- edit content to be posted to the Web site
- develop ideas and content for alternative uses of the Internet (chat rooms, list servs, distance learning, bulletin boards)
- manage the web site budget
- review advertising policy and ad content
- identify potential advertising revenue
- monitor permissions and copyright issues
- solicit, receive and review job bank listings, and
- determine content for a members-only section of the site
Editor will achieve these goals by selecting an editorial board, making assignments and overseeing progress on these activities.
Requirements include consistent and reliable oversight of the web site, attention to current scientific literature and related organizations, working knowledge of web technology and available functionality, accessibility to Board and Council members, committee and task force chairs, headquarters staff, and general membership.
Yearly stipend offered.
Please contact Jill Hronek at ISAC Headquarters if you are interested in or have questions about this position, firstname.lastname@example.org or 847-205-4722 ext 232 before May 17. The ISAC Scientific Communications Committee will conduct interviews for this position at the ISAC Congress in Montpellier. Conference call interviews will be conducted with those not attending the Congress.
A Summary of the Eighth Annual Meeting of the Great Lakes International Imaging and Flow Cytometry Association, Park East Hotel, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA October 1-3, 1999
The eighth GLIIFCA meeting was an unparalleled scientific success. We had a meeting attendance of 137 including users from as far away as Thailand. Drs. Jonni Moore, Betsy Ohlsson-Wilhelm and Kathy Muirhead, representing the state of Pennsylvania, organized the three plenary sessions. Three featured speakers, Phil McCoy, Carolyn Keever-Taylor and Carl June gave very interesting keynote addresses with exciting history and applications of flow cytometry.
A wide variety of topics was addressed. Helene Paxton explained the new regulations for analyte specific reagents and "home brew" and Carl Stewart provided insights into four-color compensation. Lorie Charie described the use of flow cytometry for evaluating HIV, PNH and GpIIb/IIIa receptor occupancy on platelets. Michele Bergeron discussed single vs double platform quantitation of cell concentration and Mike Esterman provided an overview of imaging cytometry.
Emerging flow applications were discussed in the second plenary by Viki Mosiman, Lynn DiVito-Haynes, Ray Waters, Eva Wojcik and Alan Stall. Future applications in the last plenary were presented by Jake Jacobberger and David Hedley.
We had six competition plenary presentations for our Platform Speaker Award of $150: Mohamed Zaki, Lisa Green, Kayoko Kimura, Tao Fu, Andrew Wells and Donna Williams. Our winner was Andrew Wells from the University of Pennsylvania. Seven $100 travel stipends were also presented to Tao Fu, Lyn Hillyer, Kathy Katzke, Kayoko Kimura, Jan Konyer, Sally Palmerton and Andrew Wells.
We'd like to thank the 23 companies that sponsored the meeting, a Friday night reception, sponsored by Beckman-Coulter, and Saturday night's Crazy Eight Tacky Flowdown, sponsored by Becton Dickinson Biosciences.
This year we introduced a series of luncheon workshops. The informal discussions provided time for questions from participants, and were very well received by the attendees. The workshops at the 2000 meeting will be extended time 30 minutes and will break in the middle allowing participants to move between workshops. This year's eight workshop choices were: Core Facility Management, co-chairs, Kristi Harkins, Julie Auger, Platelet Flow Cytometry, co-chairs, Vince Shankey, Phil Marder, Cell Cycle Regulation and Apoptosis, co-chairs, Jake Jacobberger, David Hedley, Cell Sorting and Instrument Maintenance, co-chairs, Hank Pletcher, Kathy Schell, Cytokine Networks, co-chairs, Jonni Moore, Mohammed Zaki, Image Analysis, chair, Paul Robinson, Leukemia/Lymphoma, chair, Carl Stewart, Clinical Cytometry, co-chairs, Phil McCoy, Chuck Goolsby.
Our members' imaginations for costumes at the Crazy Eight Tacky Flowdown party were boundless. The winner of the most tacky outfit was Mark Munson from Verity Software House. Runners up were Phil McCoy, Roy Overton and Mo O'Gorman. T-shirts will the new GLIIFCA logo were also distributed at the meeting.
We welcome Bruce Pesch from Iowa to the GLIIFCA Steering Committee. Although Iowa is not on a great lake, the Mississippi to the gulf to the Atlantic to the St. Lawrence River link should suffice. Perhaps we can consider a name change to Greater GLIIFCA or GGLIIFCA.
We invite everyone to the next GLIIFCA meeting in Detroit, October 6-8, 2000. The program chairs will be Phil Marder and Paul Robinson from Indiana. Make sure you visit our web site for updated news on GLIIFCA and our next meeting. See you there. http://www.cyto.purdue.edu/flowcyt/glifca/gliifca.htm
Report from the Treasurer, March 1, 2000
Audited year-end figures for ISAC show that the Society ended 1999 with total assets of $1,163,882 and liabilities of $254,298 respectively.
The Society's net assets of $909,584 include a reserve fund ($547,000) designated for unforeseen catastrophes, unrestricted assets ($367,238) and temporarily restricted funds ($23,919).
Audited year-end figures show that ISAC experienced an operating deficit in 1999 of $(28,573), considerably less than that projected at the 1999 Council meeting ($82,901). The table below summarizes the financial status as of December 31, 1999.
|Net increase (Decrease) in Assets
The 1999 deficit results from multiple factors, including lower than budgeted revenue in several areas. These areas include lower than expected royalties from Wiley (-$18,000) and lower than anticipated interest and dividend income (-$23,179). The Finance Committee thoroughly reviewed the poor investment performance and recommended a change in investment management firms. Council approved the change in investment management firms, which is currently being effected.
The 1999 deficit is less than anticipated because of a small profit from the Samuel A. Latt meeting in Australia, increased use of conference calls and e-mail to conduct Society business rather than travel, reduced committee activity and awareness to minimize expenditures in all aspects of society operations.
At the May 1999 Council meeting, the Treasurer and Finance Committee were asked to bring the society to a neutral budget within 5 years. However, upon receipt of the projected 2000 budget, councilors requested that a neutral-surplus budget be generated for the year 2000. The Executive and the Finance Committees worked diligently to generate a revenue neutral-surplus budget for 2000. Councilors were very active in the budget process, raised numerous questions and made suggestions to reduce expenditures of the submitted budget. A neutral-surplus budget was generated. The revised 2000 budget presented to Council projected a surplus of $16,708. Subsequently, the Council decided to restore a number of the expenses (including the Congress banquet) that were cut to produce the surplus budget. The final budget figures are presented in the table above.
The final budget, while showing a deficit of $30,073, reflects an $88,000 reduction from the first draft of the budget. This variance was achieved by reducing costs in all areas of society operations. Some of the more visible changes are listed below:
Executive Committee travel/lodging expenses were reduced and/or eliminated. The President's discretionary fund was reduced. Expenses for the following committees were eliminated: Awards, Biosafety, Membership Services, Reagent Evaluation, and Scientific Advisory. The Nominating Committee budget was reduced to reflect posting candidate statements on the Web site rather than printing.
The membership directory will be an online only version posted on the Web site and the newsletter will be posted on the Web site, rather than mailed. Production and distribution of a new membership brochure, placing of advertising, dues payments to affiliated organizations were eliminated.
The payments for Cytometry editorial office expenses were reduced by $18,000 based on the recommendations of the Scientific Communications Committee and the concurrence of the editor.
Major costs associated with prior Congresses include onsite copying, food and beverage, entertainment, and exhibit hall rental. The following modifications were made to reduce expenditures for the XX Congress: Onsite copying was eliminated. Registration lists will only be available on-line. Each poster will be displayed for one of four days to reduce exhibit hall rental costs. The Congress is projected to have a deficit of $58,474.
The changes needed to reduce the size of the Society's budget will impact future interactions of members with the Society office and with each other. Communications between members and the Society office will be primarily electronic, rather than mailing printed copies. These changes may adversely affect some members and committees. However, we can't continue to spend more than we make and we need to "live within our means", while identifying ways to fulfill member needs and promote society growth.