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Jonathan Irish

Jonathan Irish


Dr. Irish received his PhD in Cancer Biology from Stanford University where he trained in cancer biology, immunology, and computational biology. He completed postdoctoral training at Stanford in tumor immunology. During this time, he created a new precision medicine approach based on single cell measurements and co-created Cytobank, a cloud computing platform used by thousands of researchers worldwide. His lab at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN now uses artificial intelligence tools to identify and study diseased cells, improve clinical tests, and create new therapies that specifically target rare cells. His group also operates the Cancer & Immunology Core and Mass Cytometry Center of Excellence shared resources. Irish lab website:

A central goal of research in Dr. Irish’s lab is to use cytometry to understand how cell signaling mechanisms govern healthy development and control the outcomes of human diseases and treatments. By better understanding biological systems which control development and cell-cell interactions in healthy and diseased contexts, we can learn to program cells to become therapeutic agents or target malignant signaling events to specifically kill cancer cells. The Irish lab creates cutting-edge single cell mass cytometry and phospho-specific flow cytometry in order to precisely target rare, abnormal cells. Recent cytometry advances from the Irish lab include Marker Enrichment Modeling (MEM) for machine learning cell identity (Diggins et al. Nature Methods 2017), protocols for single cell mass cytometry of solid tumor and tissues (Leelatian & Doxie et al., Cytometry B 2017), Multiplex Activity Metabolomics (MAM) for bioactivity screening in primary human cells (Earl & Ferrell et al., Nature Communications 2018), and a quantitative framework for systems immune monitoring during therapy (Greenplate et al., Cancer Immunology Research 2019).