by Maria Pallavicini
Thank you for your commitment to the International Society for Analytical Cytology and your membership this past year. Members are encouraged to renew their membership now to avoid missing issues of Cytometry. Remember the option of lowering your dues by selecting the an electronic-only access to Cytometry. Please see the ISAC Web site (www.isac-net.org ) for more member benefits and detailed information.
The past year has been extremely productive for ISAC. A successful international congress in May 2004 in Montpellier, France has been followed by considerable activity of ISAC Committees and Task Forces. . As outlined in the recent special issue of the ISAC E-News, the new Council Committees and Task Forces are hard at work on various projects, such as:
- Membership development efforts, including increasing the involvement of younger members in the Society
- Development of a biosafety reference list
- Development of consensus guidelines for data presentation
- Exploration of ISAC's role in providing distance learning opportunities
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ISAC XXIII Congress, 20-24 May 2006, Quebec City, Canada
by Paul Robinson
It's only 18 months away! The 23rd Congress of the International Society for Analytical Cytology! Start your planning now -- you will definitely want to be there. ISAC 2006 (www.isac2006.com) is going to be yet another really great ISAC Congress. This one is going to be different! How different?
- This will be the first ISAC congress run by FASEB - (Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology). This science-based organization does nothing but support science! FASEB's mission is "to enhance the ability of biomedical and life scientists to improve, through their research, the health, well-being, and productivity of all people." (www.FASEB.org)
- YOU can input now. Let the organizing committee know what you want to see.
- New areas of science will be enhanced in the programing, imaging and high-content screening for example. Clinical cytometry will also be enhanced.
- Introductory courses in both flow cytometry and imaging for beginners!
- Plenty of tutorials for more advanced users.
- The congress will be one day shorter!
- Registration costs will be low! You will be able to afford this one.
- Exhibition and posters will all be in one big room! You will not miss a hidden exhibitor or a lost poster. Posters are vital components of our congress.
- There will be many more awards for posters, presentations and your hard work. These will be supported by private and corporate donors.
- A job interview program will be available.
The scientific program is under development. We are doing our best to program according to the evaluations we received from the last congress.
Students: We are keen to have you attend. As usual, ISAC will be offering a significant number of travel fellowships. There are awards for quality student posters and presentations. Students will have new opportunities to participate as congress assistants. You can work with session chairs, speakers and organizers and gain great experience as you develop your scientific career.
Postdocs: Lots of opportunities for you too. You can participate as assistants, session co-chairs, and in many other aspects of the program. Meet potential employers and explore postdoc and job opportunities.
Technologists: Technologists are special people in ISAC. They make sure that the hundreds of core laboratories operate to produce the vast amount of high technology presented at this congress. There will be special opportunities for technologists and core managers at this congress.
Scientists: Present your work in an international forum of experts. You will receive both critical appraisal and a high profile opportunity to present your work. This meeting will be a leading-edge congress.
Exhibitors: Your participation in this congress is very important to us. ISAC 2006 will offer you an excellent opportunity to place your products in front of a large number of potential clients. All exhibitors will be in the same room as the posters and coffee breaks. Many companies will present new technologies. We anticipate that many pharmaceutical companies will be present and this presents new opportunities for interactions.
Surprise event: This is something you won't want to miss stay tuned and you will get the clues but you won't believe what we have in store for you, this is going to be really exciting.
Keep in contact with our new congress Web site: www.isac2006.com.
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Reports from ISAC Committees and Task Force
Scientific Communications Committee (SCC)
by Robert Murphy
The Scientific Communications Committee of ISAC has been working on a number of proposals to improve communication of information on cytometric technologies and applications and to further increase the visibility of cytometry in growing areas of high throughput and translational research. Among these ideas is a dramatic expansion of the information available on the ISAC Web site, including links to current papers using cytometry (beyond those published in Cytometry).
Filling the position of ISAC Web editor is one area of responsibility. This involves generating a description of duties and identification of a process by which the SCC will recruit candidates and make a recommendation to ISAC Executive. Discussion has focused on those things SCC members would like to see on the ISAC Web site: links to commercial vendors of cytometry-related products, links to educational materials, links to free relevant material on the Web (e.g., software), reports on interesting articles relevant to the cytometry community, links to relevant guidelines (e.g., for testing), such as NCCLS guidelines, links to information on the biannual ISAC Congress and relevant journals, information on regional happenings and national societies and highlighting the best science carried out by ISAC members which is often published elsewhere than Cytometry.
Other options for enhancing the Web site are also being examined. Should the Sherwood Group be tasked with posting content generated by ISAC designees, should the editor be a full-time or part-time position, and what about overlap with the Purdue cytometry Web site? It was decided to request proposals from Wiley to see if they would like to provide the needed services. Wiley has responded with a proposal to develop a cytometry portal. This in turn has generated discussion about ownership and copyright issues for the site, overlap with the Purdue site, free access, and editorial responsibilities. This is clearly work in progress. Timely input from ISAC members is welcome.
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Membership Services Committee
by Co-Chairs Laura Teodori, firstname.lastname@example.org
and Zofia Maciorowski, email@example.com
This committee supports and furthers the educational activities of ISAC. It publishes the goals and objectives of the society and encourages appropriate non-members to join the society. Committee members: Margit Balazs, Gerard Lizard, Jim Jett, Bill Hyun and Antoine Snijders.
For the upcoming year, we have defined several goals we feel will be helpful in attracting and retaining members . ISAC members are encouraged to consider these goals and respond to the co-chairs with suggestions. Volunteers for any tasks involved in these proposals will be gratefully accepted.
Adopt a young scientist? campaign. Local representatives of the big international companies or national companies would select local candidates, students, young scientists or core managers, based on our criteria, and sponsor them as ISAC members for two years. It is slightly different from the ISAC Fellows program, which has a more international dimension. Local companies may feel more involved and more motivated to pay for local candidates whom they propose and with whom they are likely to have a continuing interaction.
ISAC congress fee structure. A one-year ISAC membership is presently proposed as an option when registering for the biannual congress. Most of these new members are lost after one year. In addition, many ISAC members (50 percent according to the 2001 survey) pay their ISAC dues out of their own pocket, in some countries with no tax deduction. The option of a two-year membership included in the congress registration may encourage congress attendees to join ISAC and may eliminate this off-year membership drop.
An ISAC booth at cytometry-related congresses would be a good way of reaching people who use cytometry in their work. We propose an ISAC presence at a couple of congresses this year, one in the United States and one in Europe. We will request funding for this. We hope to have ISAC members who are congress attendees man the booths.
ISAC pages in Cytometry. We have 36 pages per year in Cytometry to promote ISAC. This page to advertise ISAC membership in Cytometry may also be useful in other related journals (e.g. Immunology or Cancer Research). Other organizations that publish journals in which flow cytometry is used may be interested in exchanging a page in their journal for a page in Cytometry to advertise their meetings.
ISAC benefits. We need a comprehensive and detailed list of benefits for dissemination to potential new members, on the renewal alerts, and on the ISAC Web site. Some of the benefits are little known, for instance, discounts on the Current Protocols series. We need benefits that will attract and retain members, and thus we want to emphasize the importance of the Education Task Force. Laura Teodori has access to the ENEA (National Agency for New Technology Energy and Environment an Italian government resource) to develop a cytometry long distance learning course at no cost, which may be of help. A selection of Web courses, either ISAC developed or commercial, along with videos of congress parallel sessions and workshops, that could be offered free or at a reduced price to members, would greatly strengthen our benefits list.
ISAC congress. Student participation in the congress is of prime importance to ISAC. We would like to work with the congress committee to make the congress student friendly scientifically, socially and economically. We would like to see a low-cost congress option, with inexpensive accommodations for those who couldn't come otherwise. Too few investigators bring students with them. We need to create incentives for professors to bring their students to the congresses.
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Biosafety Issues Surveillance Committee
by Ingrid Schmid, Chair
Three new members have been appointed to the re-grouped Biosafety Committee, Albert Donnenberg, Barry Bredt and Claude Lambert from France, each providing a different perspective and unique expertise. During the first conference call, participants discussed the goals of the committee as outlined in the fall 2004 special edition of the ISAC E-News.The Biosafety Reference List and Resource Guide generated by Ingrid Schmid and Claude Lambert, who added many interesting European biosafety links, was declared ready for posting and has been placed on the ISAC Web site. The resource list of biosafety references can be accessed directly from the Biosafety Committee page (http://www.isac-net.org/committees/biosafety.htm).
The committee decided against the generation of a biosafety hotline as it was found to be impractical and members felt that safety must be a planned activity within each laboratory. Instead, Barry Bredt encouraged the generation of a Web link to the Purdue archives to give interested persons easy access to summaries of previous online biosafety postings. Lively discussion ensued about updating the 1997 ISAC Biosafety Guidelines. Albert Donnenberg proposed soliciting a study to investigate the fluid dynamics of aerosol generation in various commercially available instruments to further our understanding of the aerosol exposure risk during cell sorting.
Committee members are in the process of formulating the aims of the study and are getting ready to explore avenues of financial support for such an undertaking. ISAC members are invited to comment by contacting the committee chair, Ingrid Schmid at Schmid@mednet.ucla.edu.
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Data Standards Task Force
by James Wood
Update on the FCS 3.0 Data File Format. At the ISAC XXII meeting in Montpellier, France, the Data Standards Committee met to make a few corrections and additions to the FCS 3.0 data file format standard. As a result of these changes the current data file format will be FCS 3.1. A detailed explanation of these changes is being submitted to Cytometry for publication.
Future of Data Standards in Cytometry. Establishing standards for electronic publishing of the complete experimental context and data generated will be a significant part of our focus as a task force. We are also looking at a number of issues including data integrity, data security and data privacy that need to be considered. It is not possible to achieve these goals from within the task force alone. We will be actively soliciting the input and support from the manufacturers of cytometry instrumentation, software and reagents, and commercial, institutional and clinical users of cytometry technologies. We will also seek the input of governmental agencies including the FDA and national institutes developing shared data resources. So far we have received positive responses from the few organizations we have contacted to date. If your organization would like to participate by providing input and/or support you are encouraged to email the chair of the task force, James Wood, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Once we have developed a consensus of the requirements and a development plan, we will seek to become an active member of one or more nationally recognized standards organizations (e.g. ANSI and HL7) that are linked to the internationally recognized ISO standards organization.
Additional information from this task force will be included in the March issue of ISAC E-News.
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Emerging Leaders Task Force
by Nada Boustany
CALL FOR YOUNG SCIENTISTS:
ISAC has established an EMERGING LEADERS TASK FORCE to represent active junior scientists within its community. The goal of the task force is to create and fund activities important to junior investigators, and to create a forum through which junior scientists can influence the future directions of ISAC. Organizing congress workshops on locating funding opportunities, or tips to run a successful lab, and preparing junior members of the ISAC community to serve on ISAC committees and councils are some of the activities planned by the Emerging Leaders task force. If you are interested in joining the task force, please contact Nada Boustany, winner of the 2002 President's Award for Excellence and chair of the Emerging Leaders Task Force, at email@example.com.
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ISAC Joins the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE)
by Paul Robinson
ISAC has become a member of the Council of Societies of AIMBE (http://www.aimbe.org). This is an important step for ISAC as AIMBE is a strong voice in biomedical engineering. ISAC has many members who are engineers or who work in biomedical engineering areas and it is very appropriate for ISAC to join this organization. AIMBE is located in Washington, D.C., and plays an important role in both public science policy and ensuring that the world of biomedical engineering receives recognition at NIH, NSF and of course the federal government. As a Fellow of the AIMBE, I am hopeful that many more of our members will become participants and Fellows of AIMBE. I want to encourage others involved in bioengineering to consider how you can participate in AIMBE activities to support the overall goals of ISAC.
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Update from Affiliated Societies
Polish Cytometry Society
by Jacek M. Witkowski
The Polish Cytometry Society is reorganizing following a recent election. Our main goals for the upcoming period will be: popularization of knowledge on uses of cytometry (both diagnostic and scientific) among mainly clinically-oriented physicians and other interested people within universities, writing a manual of practical cytometry for Polish users, and participating in the establishment of standardizing procedures in diagnostic cytometry.
The election of new board took place on 9 October 2004. The new board members are: Jacek M. Witkowski (President), Jacek Rolinski (President-Elect), Krystyna Jagoda (Secretary), Miroslawa Koronkiewicz (Treasurer), Grazyna Hoser (member), Elwira Sliwinska (member), Maciej Halasa (member), Bogdan Mazur (member) and Bozena Lackowska (Member). The seat of the Board remains in Warsaw.
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Measuring Antigen-Specific Immune Response (MASIR Meeting), Courmayeur, Italy, 26-29 January 2005, contact Mario Roederer (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Conference Precis The overall goal of the MASIR conferences is to define the antigen-specific assays that can provide clinical correlates of:
(i) Vaccine efficacy
(ii) Disease morbidity
(iii) Treatment efficacy
The MASIR Scientific Organizing Committee is excited to announce plans for the first in a series of important conferences that are focused on technologies and applications related to the measurement of antigen specific immune responses. This prospectus is designed to provide information for vendors who are interested in exhibiting and/or presenting a scientific workshop at the MASIR meeting, and provides details about the venue, the conference, and the expected outcomes. Please contact the Organizing Committee with any questions .Conference Web site: www.masir.org
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European Working Group on Clinical Cell Analysis will be held in Athens 22-24 September 2005. The program will be available very soon on the Web page www.ewgcca.org
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The 2005 ISAC Samuel A. Latt Meeting is being held in collaboration with the Australasian Flow Cytometry Group and the Australian Stem Cell Centre. Stem Cells in the Age of Fluorescence Technology? will be held 6-9 November 2005, at Jupiter's Casino, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. The meeting will consist of plenary lectures, workshop tutorials, parallel oral sessions, plenary oral sessions, commercial tutorial workshops and poster and trade displays. Plenary sessions include embryonic stem cells, haematopoiesis, bone marrow, dendritic cells, high-throughput screening, agricultural germ cells, interaction with other technologies, nanotechnology, microarrays, isolation of CNS stem cells, ES cells, and haematopoietic stem cells, imaging cytometry, standardization, intersection technologies such as microarrays, and LEAP. Parallel sessions topics will include clinical immunology, microbial and environmental, instrumentation, and stem cell interest sessions.
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Meetings of the Cytometry Section of the Royal Microscopical Society
The next Cytometry Development Workshop will be held 27-29 October 2005 at Asilomar. The topics discussed at the workshop are all suggested by participants; if you are interested in proposing a topic for a special session, please contact the organizers. Student awards are available to cover the cost of registration, housing and food for graduate students working on relevant projects, and the registration fee is waived for first-time attendees. Information on the workshop is available at http://murphylab.web.cmu.edu/CDW.
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9th Congress of the Iberian Society of Cytometry, contact Filipe Sansonetty, (email@example.com). The Iberian Society of Cytometry (Sociedade Ibrica de Citometria) will be holding its next Congress in Porto, Portugal, 19-21 May 2005. Our aim is to provide an appropriate environment for research, education and training on analytical cytology and cytomics. The abstract deadline is 31 March 2005. Abstracts should be submitted electronically. It will be possible to attend the meeting for one, two or three days. Most presentations and discussions will be in English. See http://www.skyros-congressos.com/ for more information.
One of the main goals of our meeting is to promote multidisciplinary research. To accomplish this, most of the thematic workshops are being co-organized with other societies. For example, the workshop Cytomics and Microbiology will be a joint organization of the Iberian Society of Cytometry and both the Portuguese and Spanish Societies of Microbiology. The workshop Cytomics and Standardization and Quality Control will be a joint organization of the Iberian Society of Cytometry and the European Working Group on Clinical Cell Analysis. The workshop Cytomics and Haemostasis will be a joint organization of the Iberian Society of Cytometry and both the Portuguese and Spanish Societies of Thrombosis and Haemostasis. Another main focus will be on the contribution of Cytomics to the understanding the human cytome in disease using a multilevel profiling approach.
There will be a significant commercial exhibit. The exhibition will provide maximum exposure for companies before, during and after the congress. We hope to be able to attract more than 400 lab and clinical researchers from Spain and Portugal and other countries.
Up-to-date information will be at: http://www.skyros-congressos.com/. We look forward to welcome you in Porto!
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Report on the â€œ14th Cytometry Development Workshopâ€?
Asilomar Conference Grounds
by Co-Chairs Robert F. Murphy, firstname.lastname@example.org
and Howard Shapiro, (email@example.com
The 14th Cytometry Development Workshop Technologies for Cell Analysis? was held at the beautiful Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, Calif. The workshop is held each year and focuses on hardware and software issues faced by scientists and engineers who are developing and improving technologies for cell measurement. Topics discussed included low-cost cytometers for immunophenotyping in Third World countries, image analysis methods for temporal and spatial analysis of gene and protein expression in developing Drosophila embryos, multi-field cell tracking, current advances in multispectral unmixing of immunostained samples, display functions for flow data with wide dynamic ranges, and developing standards for flow and image cytometry data management.
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Activities of the Cytometry Section of the Royal Microscopical Society in the UK
by Derek Davies
We held our annual flow cytometry course at the University of York in September and, once again, this was fully subscribed with more than 40 delegates attending lectures and practical demonstrations of many aspects of basic and more applied flow cytometry. Next year's course will also be at the same venue 12-16 September 2005. More information at: http://www.rms.org.uk/cgi-bin/events_details.cgi?id=flo06361650
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Current Protocols in Cytometry (CPC)
by Paul Robinson
Current Protocols in Cytometry (CPC) is published in affiliation with ISAC. All six of our current editors are ISAC members: Peter Rabinovitch, Zbigniew Darzynkiewicz, Bill Hyun, Jurek Dobrucki, Alberto Orfao and Paul Robinson. The goal of CPC is to provide carefully prepared, clearly presented and finely tuned methods in both flow and image cytometry. New exciting sections will come out soon to expand the volume into cellular and molecular imaging. This publication should be a vital document in every cytometry-related laboratory. If you don't have a copy, purchase a subscription from the publisher; John Wiley & Sons. Royalties from sales of CPC come directly back to ISAC. Identify articles that you think should be there but are not! You can contact any of the editors to make suggestions.
Current Protocols is really about quality and standards in experimentation. CPC presents two types of articles. The first is the true protocol unit, which presents one or more procedures to solve a problem or how to obtain a certain type of data. Each protocol leads you step-by-step with explicit instructions and many details. Every unit has a five-part commentary containing background information, critical points, possible problems and how to avoid or solve them, anticipated results so you know what to look for, and estimations of the time required to carry out the work. These units are really excellent for technologists and students. The other units are commentary sections, which present an idea or a technology and try to explain it in a fairly straightforward way. These sections are great to bring one up to speed on new technologies, or even old technologies that are complex.
CPC is updated every three months. Subscribers will receive a supplement that provides new units, updates on older units, and corrects any errors that sneak into the volume. This way, CPC becomes a living, growing volume and something that everyone should consider placing in their labs.