46th Annual Course in Cytometry

San Diego, August 12-17, 2023



Paul K. Wallace, PhD is currently the Chief Scientific Officer of SciGro, Inc and Professor Emeritus at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center RPCCC) in Buffalo, NY. He served from 2003-2021 as Director of the Flow and Image Cytometry Department. He is a Past President of the International Society for Advancement of Cytometry an organization with over 2,000 members, active in the International Clinical Cytometry Society, an Associate Editor of Clinical Cytometry B, and the 2018 recipient of their Wallace H. Coulter award for lifetime achievement in clinical cytometry.

The Flow and Image Cytometry Department at Roswell Park combined both clinical and research missions at the Institute. The clinical laboratory under his leadership implemented measurable (formerly known as minimal) residual disease (MRD) testing for AML, B-ALL, multiple myeloma and CLL. The laboratory served as a core reference facility performing immunophenotyping and immune monitoring studies on samples from patients enrolled in clinical trials for biotech and NIH funded studies. His lifetime research focus is on myeloid cell biology, and he is currently working on several projects designed to develop and analyze MRD in patients with acute myeloid leukemia.

Before joining Roswell Park, Dr. Wallace was an Assistant Professor of Immunology at Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover NH (1993-2003), a cofounder of Zynaxis Cell Science, Inc., Malvern PA (1988-1991), and the Supervisor of Flow Cytometry at SmithKline (now Quest) Clinical Laboratories King of Prussia, PA (SKCL; 1979-1988). He is internationally recognized for his commitment to flow cytometric education and is a founding member of ISAC’s Educational Task Force/Committee and of the ICCS Education committee. He has been on the faculty of the Bowdoin/New Mexico/Madison Annual Course in Methods and Applications of Cytometry since 1994.


Kathy earned a B.S in Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. After post-doctoral fellowships in biochemistry and tumor biology, she joined the Pathology faculty at the University of Rochester, where her research focused on quality control and biomedical applications for the emerging discipline of flow cytometry. This focus continued at SmithKline Beckman R&D, where she served as director of their first flow cytometry core facility and worked with Paul Wallace to help SmithKline Clinical Laboratories implement immunophenotyping and DNA analysis by flow cytometry. At Zynaxis, Inc., a biotechnology start-up co-founded with colleagues from SmithKline, her focus shifted to cell-based immunotherapy and development of cell tracking reagents. Since 1996, Kathy has been Chief Operating Officer of SciGro, Inc., a biomedical consultancy that she co-founded with Dr. Betsy Ohlsson-Wilhelm. SciGro works with inventors, entrepreneurs, and investors developing early stage pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical diagnostic, and life science products to generate time-efficient feasibility testing plans and grants-based seed funding.   

Kathy has served as an ISAC Councilor, Associate Editor and reviewer for Cytometry, Adjunct Professor at the Thomas Jefferson University School of Health Professions in Philadelphia, and on CLSI subcommittees developing guidelines for clinical immunophenotyping of normal and neoplastic leukocytes and for validation of flow cytometric assays. Together with Kylie Price and Paul Wallace, she co-authored the Proliferation Monitoring e-learning course offered by ISAC’s online CYTO University. As co-founder and long-time faculty member of the internationally recognized Annual Courses on Applications of Cytometry, she loves interacting with, teaching, and learning from cytometrists from around the world. Her research interests include cell-based immunotherapies for cancer and autoimmune diseases, and novel methods for monitoring cell trafficking and function. 

Favorite quotes:  

Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm. (W. Churchill) 

The answer is “It depends….”  The question is “On what?” (K. Muirhead) 


Dagna Sheerar is the manager of the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center Flow Cytometry Laboratory.  Dagna’s favorite flow cytometry activities include designing high-parameter immunophenotyping panels, analyzing data (both flow and facility usage data), training and educating new cytometrists, consulting with researchers about their cytometry assays and data analysis work flows, rigor and reproducibility, evaluating, procuring, and installing fancy new cytometry instruments, and procrastinating on the monthly Flow Lab billing by discussing the theory of anything remotely related to flow cytometry with anyone who will listen.  


Dagna has been working in and managing Flow Cytometry Shared Resource Laboratories since 2000, both at the University of Wisconsin and at the University of Western Ontario.  She is a Certified Cytometrist actively involved in the Great Lakes International Imaging and Flow Cytometry Association and the International Society for the Advancement of Cytometry and serves on the Board of Cytometry Educational Associates, Inc., as Vice President.  Dagna has been involved in hosting and teaching at the Annual Course since 2019. 


Dagna’s non-Flow hobbies include gardening (indoors and outdoors), hiking with her friends and dogs, knitting, and (begrudgingly) home improvement. 


Rui Gardner, PhD, is currently Head of Flow Cytometry Core Facility at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Passionate about Science and Technology, Rui has an interdisciplinary background in Mathematics, Physics, and Biology that allows bridging the gap between the operational and technical details in flow cytometry and the science within flow applications. Currently Rui is the Flow Cytometry Core Head at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and previously was the Core manager at the Gulbenkian Institute of Science in Portugal. Driven by a sense of responsibility towards his peers and the flow cytometry community, Rui has been actively involved in ISAC, on the Core Managers Task Force, elected to the ISAC Council, chairing the SRL Oversight Committee, and helped to establish several Shared Resource Lab programs and activities, including the Live Education Delivery Task Force, Meetings Committee and the Leadership Development Committee. Rui is also a member of FlowCytometryUK, member and past councilor of the Sociedad Iberica de Citometria (SIC), and current member of the FlowTex Cytometry board. Rui continues to be active in mentorship of others in Flow Cytometry and Core Facility management. Rui earned a B.S in Biochemistry from University of Lisbon, Portugal, and a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Porto, Portugal. His postdoctoral work focused on evaluating immune diversity estimation techniques.


John has been involved in Flow Cytometry Technology since 1972. With a
background in experimental physics, his work has focused on instrumentation
development. Highlights have included building and delivered an early cell
sorter to the NIH in 1974, developing a high speed chromosome sorter as part
of the the Human Genome program, participating in the development of single
molecule detection and participating in the Annual Course in Flow Cytometry
since the early 80s. The later became even more important with the introduction
of the “Build a Flow Cytometer Lab” at the 1990 Flow Course at Bowdoin College.
These and other activities have resulted in over 80 publications and a dozen or
so US Patents.

When not working with lasers, flow chambers or detectors John can often be
found on the river or somewhere involved in southwest archaeology


Dr. Aja Rieger is the Flow Cytometry Core manager at the University of Alberta, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry. She was honored as an ISAC Emerging Leader (2017-2021) and is an active member of the ISAC SRL Services Committee and the Flow Cytometry Content Task Force. She is also Co-President of the Canadian Cytometry and Microscopy Association.

Dr. Rieger holds an MSc in Immunology and Microbiology from McGill University, with a specialization in neuroimmunology, and a PhD in Cell and Developmental Biology from the University of Alberta, with a specialization in comparative immunology. After her PhD, she pursued a post-doctoral fellowship at University of California-Berkeley in Neuroimmunology. She then moved back to Edmonton to manage the flow cytometry facility at the University of Alberta. Her recent research has been focused on developing imaging flow cytometry tools to study the interactions between cells and pathogens.


Joanne Lannigan has been a member of the flow cytometry community since 1982. She received a Master of Science degree in Pathology/Immunology from the State University of New York and a Master of Science degree in Health Services Administration from the New School University in NYC. Ms. Lannigan served as the Associate Technical Director of the Clinical Immunology Laboratory at the University Hospital of the State University of New York for over 17 years, where she managed both the clinical flow cytometry and immune diagnostics laboratories. In 2002, Ms. Lannigan was appointed faculty at the University of Virginia, where she became the Director of the Flow Cytometry Core Facility in the Department of Medicine until 2019, when she retired and started her consulting company, Flow Cytometry Support Services, LLC. 

Ms. Lannigan has been a very active member of ISAC since 1996, and has served in several leadership roles including Council, Education Committee Chair, SRL Oversight Committee Chair, SRL Emerging Leaders co-chair, Cytometry Certification Exam Committee Member and Chair,  and SRL Educational Content Task Force Chair. She has also served as a mentor to three ISAC Emerging Leaders, been a member of ISAC’s Mission Continuity Committee,  and a regular member of the CYTO Meeting Planning and Program Committees. Ms. Lannigan has also been an active developer of workshops and CYTO U content for the educational mission of the society. She is also a recipient of ISAC’s Distinguished Service and Membership Services Awards.  Ms. Lannigan is a regular reviewer for the journal Cytometry Part A, has published 50 cytometry related papers, and her 2020 publication of OMIP-069 Forty-Color Full Spectrum Flow Cytometry Panel for Deep Immunophenotyping of Major Cell Subsets in Human Peripheral Blood was awarded the Best Publication of 2020. Her recent interests in flow cytometry have been dedicated to Full Spectrum Flow Cytometry and Nanoflowcytometry.  


Are you seeing double? The importance of distinguishing cell-cell complexes from singlets in flow cytometry  

Our recent work has highlighted that care needs to be taken when interpreting single cell data originating from flow cytometry acquisition or cell sorting of human blood samples: We found that doublets of T cells bound to other immune cells such as B cells or Monocytes are often present in the live singlet gate of human peripheral blood samples acquired by flow cytometry. This hidden “contamination” generates atypical gene signatures of mixed cell lineage in what is assumed to be single cells, which can lead to data misinterpretation, such as the description of novel immune cell types. Importantly, many of these doublets show signatures of immune synapses and are at increased frequency during infection compared to steady-state, suggesting they are not technical artifacts but instead hold biological relevance and thus making their study highly relevant. In this lecture, I will present experimental and data analysis strategies to help distinguish between singlets and cell–cell complexes using imaging and non-imaging flow cytometry. I will also highlight our most recent work aiming at improving the discrimination between doublets with biological relevance versus mere technical artifacts. Together, these data provide a strong rationale to revisit the traditional dogma in immunology and flow cytometry that cell doublets should be ignored, and push for improvement in doublet detection in existing cytometry instruments and the development of novel technologies dedicated to their study.  

Short Biography 

 Dr. Julie Burel is an instructor in the Peters lab at La Jolla Institute for Immunology (San Diego). She received her PhD in Immunology from the University of Queensland (Brisbane, Australia) in 2015, and joined the Peters lab for her postdoctoral studies in 2016. Dr Burel’s research interests are the characterization of host immune signatures to infectious diseases using systems immunology approaches, by combining multidimensional datasets such as flow cytometry and single-cell transcriptomics. She has over 13 years of continuous experience with flow cytometry, including the development of standardized workflows to control for technical and biological variability in flow cytometry data, and more recently the study of immune cell-cell complexes.   

Keynote Speaker

Lauren graduated from Valparaiso University with a BS in Biology and then from the University of Wisconsin–Madison with an MS in Cancer Biology, gathering first-hand information about thyroid cancer along the way.  She was first exposed to the world of flow cytometry while studying the role of regulatory T cells in pediatric allergies, asthma, and autoimmune diseases; multicolor immunophenotyping assays became her specialty. After that, she worked in industry for two years optimizing the sex-based sorting of porcine sperm and helped open a lab in Canada to train sort operators in the implementation of that procedure.

She worked for the UW Carbone Cancer Center Flow Cytometry Core Laboratory for six years where her favorite flow cytometry related activities were high-dimensional panel design, teaching the Intro to Flow lecture series, giving educational outreach talks about a variety of topics, and creating multi-core pipelines.

She has been a Senior Scientist at Elephas since October or 2022 and is the flow cytometry lead.  She designs high dimensional flow panels, optimizes assays, and advises on immunology topics to help move the technology forward towards a predictive and personalized approach to treating cancer with immunotherapies.

In her free time, she enjoys cooking, learning about wine, and watching all kinds of nerdy television with her husband and her 13 year old cat, Bessie.


Mark Naivar is the Director of Technical Innovations for Owl Biomedical, now a subsidiary of Miltenyi Biotec. Owl is producing the Tyto®, the world’s first commercial cell sorter for human therapeutics. Mr. Naivar is responsible for developing innovative new features for the Tyto®. Mr. Naivar was previously the co-founder of DarklingX, a company which developed unique data acquisition and control systems for flow cytometry applications. The clients included both academic and commercial institutions, which allowed Mr. Naivar to be active in collaborative research efforts as well as bringing innovations to market. Before DarklingX, Mr. Naivar worked as a technical staff member at Los Alamos National Laboratory as part of the National Flow Cytometry Resource, where he was active in flow cytometry R&D as well as embedded electronics and software development to support the research efforts. Mr. Naivar has a M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin (1993) and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from New Mexico State University at Las Cruces (1989). 


I began my experience in flow cytometry at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1974, and was a member of the National Flow Cytometry Resource for almost all of it’s existence. I have been a user and a key operator, and was involved in software development for data display and analysis. I am retired and am now active primarily as faculty at flow cytometry courses.

“Be the change you want to see in the world”
– Gandhi


In 2013, after completing her graduate studies at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON, Canada in viral immunity and post-doctoral fellowships in oncolytic virus immunotherapy at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), Vera took on the challenge of building and managing the flow cytometry core facility at the University of Ottawa.  

Vera’s interests in basic research and background in working with viruses led to the development of an expertise in small particle detection at the facility and in 2016, the uOttawa flow cytometry core facility became the uOttawa Flow Cytometry & Virometry core facility. As an adjunct member of the Faculty of Medicine, she continues to contribute to research in flow cytometry analysis of small particles with a focus on viruses and protocol development.  

Vera is an ISAC SRL Emerging Leader (2018-2023), current co-president of the CCMA, and a member of the ISEV-ISAC-ISTH EV Flow Cytometry Reference Materials Working Group. Over the years, she has been an invited speaker and instructor to numerous conferences and workshops on small particle flow cytometry including CYTO, GLIIFCA, CDW, MetroFlow, RMS, CCMA, ISEV and now the Annual Flow Cytometry Course!  


Dr. John Nolan received B.S. degrees in biology and chemistry at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from The Pennsylvania State University. After a postdoctoral position at the National Flow Cytometry Resource (NFCR), Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), he was promoted to the technical staff at LANL. There his lab pioneered quantitative and multiplexed flow cytometry approaches for analysis of molecular assemblies involved in catalysis, signaling, and pathogenesis, and for high throughput genomic analysis. He served as a co-investigator of the NFCR, 1996-2001, and principal investigator and director, 2001-2004. In 2004, he moved to the La Jolla Bioengineering Institute, where his lab develops instrumentation and reagents for quantitative and highly multiplexed cell and molecular analysis. His lab recently developed the first Raman flow cytometers, as well as technologies for the rapid and high resolution analysis of individual nanoparticles. Dr. Nolan serves on the editorial boards of Cytometry and Current Protocols in Cytometry, among others, and is an elected Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering.


Dr. T. Vincent Shankey received his Ph.D. degree in Immunology and Medical Microbiology from the University of Florida School of Medicine (1977) and a postdoctoral fellowship in Pathology at the University of Pennsylvania from 1977 to 1981.  His research has used flow and image cytometry for over thirty years, working in clinical flow cytometry for much of that time. Before joining the Advanced Technology Center/Systems Research Group at Beckman Coulter in 2001, he was the Director of Research for the Urology Department and Scientific Director of the Clinical Flow Cytometry laboratory at Loyola University Medical Center near Chicago, Illinois. In 2016 he joined AsedaSciences, a Biotech start-up operating at the Perdue University Bindley Biosciences Cntr, as Director of Research, developing cell-based assays to predict cellular responses to candidate compounds in the Pharma developmental pipeline. 


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