Cytometry and Antibody Technology

Notes on CYTO 2023

by | Jun 22, 2023 | Review | 0 comments

CYTO 2023 has come and gone, here are a few thoughts on this year’s edition:

Flow Cytometry in the back seat: There were few plenary sessions where flow was front and center. Maybe the technology is so mature now that it’s not cool anymore? There was a lot of microscopy during the plenary sessions. The main topics involving flow during the workshops and tutorials revolved around training and high-end analysis. There was actually little in terms of new instruments and technologies – with the exception of the BD Imaging Flow Cell sorter which has both received appraisal and raised eyebrows. I guess we can’t re-invent spectral flow every year.

Bigfoot User Group: I attended the Bigfoot user group organized by ThermoFisher. I remain confident that the instrument will deliver as promised as some point. But it seems that the Bigfoot team is interested in investigating the use of surfactant in samples to resolve the problem of sorting efficiency, which is not what I wanted to hear. If anyone from TF is reading this, my message to you is that it’s a pretty bad idea, and you should rapidly move to something else!

I can’t seem to shut up about the Tyto: In every single discussion with colleagues, I have to bring it up somehow. It’s either that the Tyto is now central to flow cytometry, or I’m a lousy party guest.

Training in non-English environments: I was initially very interested in the discussions on flow cytometry training in non-english environment. ISAC observed a need for better training is some locations wherein it seems to be lacking. I was puzzled to see that some of these locations included France and Spain, but whatever. I found unfortunate that amongst ISAC’s most discussed solutions is the translation of English material through automated software platforms. It seems to me that it may miss the mark on many fronts: 1 – the English material may not be appropriate for those communities (by focusing on ¬†technologies that are not available, for example) and 2 – this solution fails to promote the trainers already working in these communities, and who are already active. Instead, it would provide more amplitude to (the same) English speaking voices. In my view, the problem is likely to be resolved faster and more efficiently through better networking and promoting local efforts. Overall, my beef is that ISAC seems oblivious to the cultural significance of language in various countries. Diversity wouldn’t kill anyone here, and it’s worth pondering the idea that an ISAC may not be the front and center solution for this problem. I’m new to that discussion, so maybe I’m missing something.

Networking for the win! We go to CYTO to see the people. As always networking and sharing ideas is the main reason to go to the CYTO meeting. I want to give a shout out to the MSKCC flow cytometry core for brining some of the most useful posters ever and some great discussions on the use of social media. If you’re like me and are concerned over the way we share informations and create a community in the flow field, join the discussion! What’s a resilient platform that we can use to share ideas and resolve issues? The Purdue list has served us well, but it would be nice to build some alternatives.

So many missed opportunities: Poutine was the cultural representative of Quebec during the meeting, we had to eat a lot of it. But I’m kicking myself for not having proposed a workshop on maple syrup in flow!

I took no pictures during the whole thing. How weird is that? Next meeting in Edinburgh, Scotland!

If you were at CYTO in Montreal, please let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!

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