SDSC meeting Nov. 2016

SDSC meeting Nov. 10, 2016

We have not had a local flow cytometry meeting since before Cyto. You can get 1 CEU for this meeting which is donated by FloCyte. ThermoFisher sponsored tonight’s meeting with talks focused on their flow cytometer, the Attune and RNA Prime. There were 2 sponsor talks of the evening and 1 talk from a local scientist at UCSD.
The first talk was from Nori Ueno about the newest innovations in eBioscience’s RNA Prime technology. eBioscience became a part of ThermoFisher this year when they were bought through the Affymetrix acquisition. RNA flow allows single cell analysis of both protein and RNA simultaneously. For some proteins in a cell, there aren’t very good antibodies. Using probes for the RNA for these proteins gives the ability to analyze them using flow cytometry. Previous RNA Prime assays allowed the researcher to look at 3 different RNA sequences in a cell, whereas the new version adds an extra RNA probe giving you access to 4 RNA targets and many other proteins that can be seen at the same time.
Cliff Ramsdell then gave a talk on the technology of the Attune and how it can overcome challenges in rare cell analysis. By focusing the cell stream using acoustics, it keeps the stream in the center of the laser thereby allowing an increase in speed without a decrease in CV due to the stream moving around past the laser. This reduces the manipulations that scientists need to do to analyze millions of cells in a short period of time.
ThermoFisher had a contest for scientists to win a new Attune based on a research challenge. Charles Prussak, director of the Cell Therapy Translational Laboratory at UCSD, won this award. His work in cancer research focuses on reversing checkpoint inhibitors and retrain the immune system to kill cancer cells. He is looking at the modulation of PD1, PD-L1, and CTLA4. He has found that by using a more physiological media to expand tumor infiltrating leukocytes (TILs), he can increase the cell number without changing the cell types extracted from the tumor. Their goal is to expand these cells and put them back into the patients using chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell technology. By engineering the T cell to respond to the tumor cells, they can get around the checkpoint background in the tumor cells. They want to remove patient TILs, engineer in a single chain variable region to target them to the tumor cells, and keep them in culture for a maximum of 4 days causing the least amount of skewing of the populations before putting them back into the patient. He is using the Attune to study rare cells within the tumors for a better understanding of what they need to do to bring better therapy to cancer patients.
This was a fun evening of socializing with our peers in flow and great talks on how flow cytometry is helping in cancer research. Looking forward to a new series in 2017.