Programs SRL Emerging Leaders

ISAC SRL Emerging Leaders Program

The ISAC Shared Resource Lab (SRL) Emerging Leader Program is designed to develop the next generation of leadership in SRL operations, who will help to further enhance the field of cytometry.


This five-year program provides ISAC SRL Emerging Leaders with a complimentary membership in the Society, subscription to Cytometry Part A, and complimentary registration and partial travel funds to attend the Society's annual CYTO conference as well as eligibility for one-time funding of mentored training. All SRL staff with less than five years of experience in a position in which they have held primary responsibility for the supervision or management of an SRL are eligible to apply.

The application period for the 2018-2022 is now closed.

In addition, ISAC SRL Emerging Leaders are given the opportunity to be an integral part of the Society through committee memberships, advisory boards, and creating educational material to further support the goals of ISAC. Being chosen an ISAC Emerging Leader is an indication that you are recognized for your leadership potential, technical expertise and ability to achieve your career goals.

Leaders or prospective leaders in the field of cytometry whose primary activity is scientific research are encouraged to apply to the ISAC Marylou Ingram Scholars Program. The SRL Services Oversight Committee reserves the right to forward SRL EL applications to the IMISP.

Current SRL Emerging Leaders


Term: 2017-2021


Cláudia Bispo

Flow Cytometry Manager
Parnassus Flow Cytometry Core
University of California   
San Francisco, CA

BSc in Biology
MSc in Human Biology and Environment

Scientific Interest and Avenues for Collaboration
My scientific background is in Biology, though I have always been a quite technically driven person. I’m always excited and motivated to learn more and develop tools that may benefit other SRLs and the cytometry community. Particularly, by examining the different factors involved in sorting performance; exploring new ways to automate general QC monitoring and reporting methodologies; or implementing training programs and outreach activities. Instrument troubleshooting and problem solving is also something that I truly enjoy. Working on the newly consolidated Single Cell Analysis Center at UCSF I’m also interested in developing new methodologies to bridge together technologies that pair well or are downstream of Flow Cytometry.

Participation / Support of ISAC
Submitted posters and attended CYTO 2014 in Fort Lauderdale, and CYTO 2016 in Seattle.
Attended the 4th FlowCytometryUK 2013 meeting from RMS (ISAC affiliated society)
Member of the Iberian Society of Cytometry - SIC (ISAC affiliated society).   

Twitter: @c7Bispo

Diana L. Bonilla Escobar

Flow Cytometry Coordinator
Immunotherapy Platform
The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
Houston, TX

B.Sc., Microbiology and Clinical Laboratory – Universidad del Valle
Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences - Immunology – Texas A&M University

Scientific Interest and Avenues for Collaboration
I am part of a translational research group aimed to identify immunological signatures that can predict response to treatment in patients receiving cancer immunotherapy. Our platform provides instrumentation, knowledge and scientific support for immune monitoring by using flow and mass cytometry.  My primary role is to coordinate multidimensional single cell evaluations, including experimental design, panel design and validation, sample acquisition and data analysis. My goal is to improve our workflow by implementing automated analysis techniques and to establish a cytometry training program for students, investigators and clinicians in our institution.

Participation / Support of ISAC
Travel award CYTO 2014/ CYTO 2016
Outstanding Poster Award CYTO 2014: Common reagents to clean flow cytometers affect fluorochrome stability
Attended local ISAC-associated FlowTex Conference, 2010-2017
Invited Speaker: Flow Tex Conference, 2015/2017
Poster Award: FlowTex Conference, 2010


Isabella Pesce

Cell Analysis and Separation Core Facility Manager
Centre for Integrative Biology (CIBIO)
Trento University   

PhD in Cell Biology, University of Padova, Italy
MSc in Biotechnology, University of Siena, Italy

Scientific Interest and Avenues for Collaboration
My overall goal is to constantly increase the facility’s usage by meeting the diverse and evolving scientific needs within my Institution and being always update on the latest and most innovative technological improvements in the field. In addition, as I support scientists on daily basis, I am actively involved in several research projects focused on different research areas. I am also involved in teaching and training activities for students and researchers in my University. A future goal of the facility is to improve and extend the educational programs and training activities to reach external researchers. My scientific interests are mainly focused in improving isolation and measurement methodologies of extracellular vesicles. Furthermore, I am also interested in the next generation of high sensitivity instruments for analysis and sorting of extracellular vesicles. Additionally, one of my aims is to increase the usage of DEP-Array System for rare cell sorting and single cell analysis; currently I am looking for collaborators interested in studying Circulating Tumor Cells in liquid biopsies and cancer.

Participation/Support of ISAC
Attended CYTO 2015


Nicole J. Poulton

J.J. MacIsaac Facility for Aquatic Cytometry
Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences
East Boothbay, ME

BS Biology & BA Chemistry, Virginia Tech, USA
Ph.D. Biological Oceanography, MIT/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, USA

Scientific Interest and Avenues for Collaboration
I am a Research Scientist and Director of the J.J. MacIsaac Facility for Aquatic Cytometry at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences.  I am also an active researcher and collaborator within the Single Cell Genomics Center (SCGC), at Bigelow Laboratory.  My research uses flow and imaging cytometry to identify and examine both bacteria and phytoplankton from natural environments. I work with samples from many environments, ranging from lakes and oceans, to hyper-saline ponds, oceanic sediments, and mineral rich hot springs.  The Facility is very involved in many ongoing research projects within the academic community and industry, including many that are focused on exploring ‘microbial dark matter’.  Microbial dark matter is a term used to describe microbes that are currently uncultivable and are unable to be studied using traditional laboratory techniques. Since 60% of the global carbon biomass is microbial, the MacIsaac Facility uses flow cytometric techniques and single cell isolation to examine and describe new microbe. My research spans the globe in order to determine the role oceanic single-cell organisms play in the global carbon cycle.  I also educate cytometrists, students and commercial entities interested in learning aquatic cytometric techniques.

Participation / Support of ISAC
CYTO2015: Poster Title – Flow cytometric analysis of protozoan grazing on marine cyanobacteria: Bulk and single cell sorting tools to determine the molecular diversity of grazers.  

Twitter: @njpoulton

Aja Rieger
Faculty Service Officer/ Flow Core Manager
University of Alberta
Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry
Edmonton, AB

BSc, Immunology and Infection (University of Alberta)
MSc, Neuroimmunology (McGill University)
PhD, Comparative Immunology (University of Alberta)
Post-doc, Neuroimmunology (UC Berkeley)

Scientific Interest and Avenues for Collaboration
My main interest is in producing a robust, on-going educational program that focuses on both theoretical and hands-on training. I believe a strong focus on cytometry education will assist in the production of high quality, reproducible data and will enable better experimental design. My personal research interests are focused on neuro-immunology, specifically the interaction of the immune and nervous systems in neuro-inflammatory diseases.

Participation/ Support of ISAC
Attendee CYTO 2010 and CYTO 2016
Executive Board Member for Canadian Cytometry and Microscopy Association

Twitter: @UAFoMD_Flow

Term: 2016-2020

Suat Dervish
Advanced Specialist – Flow Cytometry
Westmead Institute of Medical Research
Sydney University, NSW

BMedSc (Hons) - Sydney University
GradCertInn&Ent - Sydney University

Scientific Interest and Avenues for Collaboration
I have always been fascinated at the complexity and depth of interactions within biological systems. I enjoy applying cytometry to better understand and describe these processes using novel methods. Designing and building both software and hardware solutions to better serve this purpose is an area I am actively interested in.

Participation / Support of ISAC
CYTO 2016 Workshop Presenter – “Systems for Simplifying Core Management”, Sunday, June 12, 2016, from 15:45 - 17:00. 
Member of CYTO SRL Forum Organizing Committee 2016
Australasian Cytometry Society 2016 Workshop Presenter – “Build your own cytometer”
CYTO 2013, 2015, 2016 attendance and presentation
Australian Society of Immunology

Christian Kukat
Head of FACS & Imaging Core Facility
Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing

Postdoctoral Fellow, Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing, Cologne – 2013
Postdoctoral Fellow, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm – 2009
PhD, Center of Biotechnology and Biomedicine, University of Leipzig – 2008
Diploma in Biology, University of Würzburg – 2004

Scientific Interest and Avenues for Collaboration
As the head of our institute’s combined cytometry, microscopy, and histology core facility, I am interested in helping users synthesize these complementary technologies to enable better experimental design. My personal scientific interest is mitochondria, as these organelles accompanied me for a long time and are wonderful objects for flow cytometry and microscopy analyses.

Participation/Support of ISAC
Meeting attendance: CYTO2015, CYTO2016
Member of CYTO SRL Forum Organizing Committee 2016, 2017
Member of ISAC SRL Content Task Force since 2016
Member of ISAC SRL Service Committee since 2016
Founder of the Cytometry Club Cologne


Radhika Rayanki
Associate Scientist, Flow Cytometry Core Group
Respiratory Inflammation Autoimmunity Research
Medimmune LLC (a member of the AstraZeneca Group), Gaithersburg, MD

BSc (Chemistry, Botany and Zoology)
MSc (Biochemistry)
Certificate in Biotechnology

Scientific Interest and Avenues for Collaboration
I am interested in cross-instrument cell sorting capabilities, improving the longitudinal performance of the analyzers by identifying more thorough and simpler QA/QC methods and implement /optimize SOPs of all manner of FACS Core lab operations. I am also involved in developing modifications to fluidics systems of different flow analyzers.
My personal research interests are in the exploration of Cancer Biology and autoimmune disease; comparative studies of granulocyte subsets between cancer blood and an autoimmune disease.

Participation/Support of ISAC
Member of CYTO SRL Forum organizing committee 2016, 2017
Member of ISAC SRL Services Committee since 2016
Member of Chesapeake Cytometry Consortium organizing committee (ISAC affiliated society)
First time attendee: CYTO 2016 Seattle
Meeting attendance:  Annual Local Flow Cytometry US meetings (Flow Cytometry Interest Group meeting – NIH)
Meeting attendance: Annual Flow Cytometry Conferences (Albuquerque, NM and Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine)

Erica Smit
Flow Cytometry Core Facility, Vaccine Research Center (VRC), National Institutes of Health (NIH)/NIAID
Bethesda, MD

National Diploma (ND) Biomedical Technology – Cape Peninsula University of Technology
Baccalaureus Technologiae (B Tech) – Biomedical Technology - Cape Peninsula University of Technology

Scientific Interest and Avenues for Collaboration
My research interests include Immunology and Vaccinology. My personal interests in flow cytometry involve troubleshooting and correcting technical problems on the flow cytometers. In my role I will be learning about the latest calibration and optimization procedures and will be responsible for the implementation of it as well as assisting in training of flow cytometry core users.

Participation / Support of ISAC   
CYTO conference attendance: CYTO 2013, CYTO 2016
CYTO 2016: Poster title: Qualification and implementation of an inter-laboratory quality assurance program for a whole blood intracellular cytokine staining assay.
CYTO 2016: Attendance of the SRL Forum and related workshops
Member of ISAC SRL Content Task Force since 2016

Gert Van Isterdael   
Flow Cytometry Core Facility Manager
Inflammation Research Center, VIB (Flanders Institute for Biotechnology),
Ghent University

BSc Biomedical Laboratory Techniques (Pharmacy and Biotechnology)
KAHO Sint-Lieven, Technology campus Ghent

Scientific Interest and Avenues for Collaboration
My primary role is to provide flow cytometry expertise to the users of the core facility. This is achieved through providing technical help to the scientists, maintaining the machines, implicating high quality SOPs as well as providing both experimental setup and data analysis consultations. My scientific interest lies in the development of novel automated analysis techniques for multi-parameter flow cytometry data to remove user bias. To achieve this we are closely collaborating with our on-site Bioinformatics team headed by Prof. Yvan Saeys. In addition to this, as I help scientists at the core on a daily basis, I am also actively involved in several research projects ranging from basic science topics, such as understanding the role of specific transcription factors in immune cell development and homeostasis, to more applied research projects, including those investigating mechanisms of allergy, asthma and cancer.

Participation/Support of ISAC
Attended CYTO2014, CYTO2015 and CYTO2016
Member of ISAC SRL Services Committee
Member of ISAC SRL Forum Organizing Committee 2016
Outstanding Poster Award Judge CYTO2016
Abstract and poster review CYTO2017
Co-chair Instrumentation session at CYTO2017
Co-chair CYTO2017 SRL Networking Event

Twitter: @IRCFlowCore 

Term: 2015-2019

Jessica Back
Associate Director
Microscopy, Imaging, and Cytometry Resources (MICR) Core
Wayne State University and Karmanos Cancer Institute,
Detroit, MI

B.S., Biochemistry – Ohio Northern University, Ada, OH
Ph.D., Biochemistry – Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
Post-Doctoral Fellow, Tumor Immunology -- Karmanos Cancer Institute, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI

Scientific Interest and Avenues for Collaboration
My goal is to ensure the success of the researchers using MICR by providing expertise in flow cytometry techniques, individualized assay design consultation, and data analysis support. I also strive to push my users out of their comfort zones, expand their use and understanding of flow cytometry, and make their data more functional and reproducible.  My personal research interests are in carcinogenesis and tumor immunology.

Participation/Support of ISAC
CYTO Meeting Attendance: 2013-present
CYTO 2017: Program Committee
CYTO 2016: Workshop Organizer, Outstanding Poster Judge, Program Committee, SRL Forum Organizing Committee
CYTO 2015: Outstanding Poster Judge
GLIIFCA Meeting Attendance: 2013, 2015-present
GLIIFCA Steering Committee: 2016-present
GLIIFCA Roundtable Topic Leader: 2015, 2016
GLIIFCA Poster Session Organizer: 2016-present
Vice-Chair and ISAC Representative to ASCP BOC Cytometry Examination Committee


Anna Belkina
Senior Research Specialist
Flow Cytometry Core Facility
Boston University School of Medicine

MD (Russian State Medical University) 1997-2003
Ph.D. (Boston University School of Medicine) 2007-2012
Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Microbiology, Boston University School of Medicine

Scientific Interest and Avenues for Collaboration
My current research efforts include a number of collaborative projects focusing on characterizing T cell immunity in chronic inflammatory diseases and cancer. We study immune exhaustion pathways and inhibitory receptor phenotyping using high-dimensional flow cytometry and employ both automated and expert-guided data analysis to identify novel populations of exhausted immune cells and characterize their function.
With my Core Facility appointment at a large research academic institution, I am focused on engaging our research community in practices matching the highest standards in the field.

Participation/Support of ISAC
ISAC / CYTO U eLearning Delivery Task Force, Member (2015 – present)
Membership Services Committee, Member (2016 – present)
CYTO attendee (2014 – present)
Parallel Session Co-chair, CYTO 2016
Outstanding Poster Award Judge at CYTO2015, 2016
Posters/parallel session talks presented at CYTO2015, 2016, 2017


Gelo Victoriano Dela Cruz
Flow Cytometry Core Facility Manager
The Danish Stem Cell Center

BSc Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of the Philippines - Diliman
MS Applied Recombinant DNA Technology credits, New York University

Scientific Interest and Avenues for Collaboration
I am interested in novel flow applications and cell sorting technologies. I am also interested in how cell sorting affects the survival, viability and functionality of different stem cell lines, progenitors and differentiating cells.

Participation/Support of ISAC
Certified Cytometrist (2017)
Member, Certification Advisory Committee (2015-present)
Regular attendee to CYTO since 2012
Outstanding Poster Judge (CYTO 2015, CYTO 2016)
Programming Committee (CYTO 2016, CYTO 2017)
Workshop Organizer (CYTO 2016)
Organizer, Nordic Flow Cytometry Meeting 2017
Board Member, Danish Society for Flow Cytometry (2016-present)
CPH FLOW (Copenhagen-area flow cytometry user group) founder

Michael Thomson
FlowCore Node Manager, Monash Health Translation Precinct
Melbourne, Australia

M.Bus-Biotech – RMIT University
B.AppSc (Biochemistry/Chemistry) – Swinburne University

Scientific Interest and Avenues for Collaboration
My interests involve providing a high standard of education to enable researchers utilising the core facility‘s Flow and Imaging Cytometry capabilities to expand their scope for scientific discovery in both preclinical and clinical environments.  I have assisted groups with a research focus in type 1 and 2 diabetes, HPV, immunology, cancer, virology, allergy and hematology; thus have an interest in developing and providing appropriate biosafety practices. I have further interests in developing and implementing Best Practices for Shared Resource Facilities.

Participation/Support of ISAC
Member SRL Content Taskforce
Cyto 2015 2016 2017 Session Chair & Poster Judge
Cyto 2016 2017 Workshop and Tutorial Facilitator
Member of organising committee for ACS (ISAC affiliated society) Melbourne Meeting
Member of Australasian Cytometry Society

Term: 2014-2018

Andrew Filby
Flow Cytometry Core Facility Manager and Co-manager of the Newcastle University Single Cell Unit (NUSCU)
Faculty of Medical Sciences
Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

B.Sc. Hons. Biochemistry (University of Huddersfield, UK)
PhD Molecular and Cellular Immunology (National Institute for Medical Research, NIMR, UK; affiliated with University College London).
Post-doctoral training also at the NIMR

Scientific Interest and Avenues for Collaboration
I specialize in imaging (flow) cytometry, conventional flow cytometry (sorting and analysis) as well as molecular and cellular immunology.  I am very interested in the multi-pronged application of different cytometry and single-cell focused technologies to address key questions in human health and disease.  I have a keen interest in the use of machine learning approaches to analyze image cytometry data.  I am also very involved in the educational and training initiatives within the UK/European and international cytometry communities.  I am also an active voice for the shared resource laboratory best practices.  As a Cytometry Part A journal scholar I am also very interested in how science is communicated effectively and accurately with particular focus on reproducibility of data.  I continue to contribute to high profile publications through my method development.

Participation/Support of ISAC   
I serve on the image cytometry content task forces.  I have attended six out of the last seven CYTO conferences organizing a total of seven workshop sessions at these meetings as well as submitting scientific abstracts for talks and posters.


Michael Gregory
Laboratory Manager
NYU Langone Medical Center
New York, NY


Masters, Biology (in progress), New York University
B.A., Biology (2005), New York University

Scientific Interest and Avenues for Collaboration
T-Cell Immunology, Centrifugal Counter-flow Elutriation

Participation/Support of ISAC
CYTO U E-Learning Delivery Task Force Member and Liaison
CYTO 2014, 2015 attendance
CYTO 2014-5 Outstanding Poster Award Judge, CYTO 2015 and 2016 Program Committee,
2014-2015 Metroflow attendance, GLIIFCA 2015 attendance and Roundtable Topic Leader


Robert (Rob) Salomon
Flow Cytometry Manager/ Senior Flow Cytometry Scientist
Garvan Institute of Medical Research
Sydney, NSW

BSc (Anatomy and Physiology)
Honors 1st class (Animal models of Prostate Cancer)
MSc (Molecular Profiling of Human Prostate Cancer)
Dip Eng (Electrical)

Scientific Interest and Avenues for Collaboration
My interests lie in the accurate application of technology to develop deeper understanding of science, particularly the biological sciences. I believe that strong, sustainable shared resource laboratories, which not only provide access to instrumentation but also expertise, have the capacity to enhance scientific understanding and to participate in the discovery of cures for many diseases.
I have a particular interest in the application of Cellular and Single Cell Genomic approaches to understanding the underling processes involved in real disease states. I would welcome collaboration in the areas of single cell genomics, microfluidics in biology and novel applications involving cell sorting and cytometric analysis.

Participation/Support of ISAC
ISAC 2016 Workshop Presenter – “Systems for Simplifying Core Management”, Sunday, June 12, 2016, from 15:45 - 17:00. 
CYTO U E-Learning Delivery Task Force Member
CYTO 2015 Program Committee
CYTO 2014 and 2015 Outstanding Poster Award Judge and Abstract review
Shared Resource Lab Task Force Member
Australasian Cytometry Society Website Administrator
Australasian Cytometry Society Treasurer 2013-15
Australasian Cytometry Society Conference Chair 2016


Our vision is to advance the impact of cytometry in meeting current and emerging challenges in the life, biomedical, and physical sciences.

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