Monday, July 17, 2006

Summary of the Second Meeting

The UCD-Conway Institute of Biomolecular and Biomedical Research hosted in the Lecture Theater the 2nd Meeting of the Irish Cytometry Society that took place on the 31st January 2006. This event was chaired and organized by Dr. Alfonso Blanco (UCD-Conway Institute of Biomolecular and Biomedical Research) and sponsored by DakoCytomation.

This event was introduced by Michael T. O’Sullivan , Assistant Director of the UCD-Conway Institute of Biomolecular and Biomedical Research, that pointed out that this was the second time that this institution host this event and the good impact that this kind of meetings can have in the future and develop of this useful and powerful technique.

Three talks were given during the 2nd Meeting:

Flow cytometry research in cell culture technology. Prof. Mohamed. Dept. of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering – University College Dublin

Flow Cytometry as a tool to study immune-mediated diseases. Prof. Padraic Fallon. School of Biochemistry and Immunology – Trinity College Dublin

Day to day in a Haematology laboratory. Mrs. Marian O’Riain. Haematology Laboratory – University College Hospital Galway

Nevertheless, the main purpose of this meeting was introduced the different groups that are actually working in all Ireland with the aim of sharing information, interchange protocols, create new contacts, look for new projects and try to solve common problems, consultancy in tendering process, …

This was a very successful meeting because of the high number and quality of participants and groups. There were 43 participants from 35 different groups. Each group had the opportunity to introduce themselves and explain their main projects, objectives and problems.
6 groups from Trinity College Dublin (1 Core Facility included)
11 groups from University College Dublin (1 Core Facility included)
8 groups from Belfast
1 group from Cork
1 group from Galway
2 groups from Limerick
1 group from Mayo
as well as 9 groups from different hospitals: Coombe Women's Hospital, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children (Crumlin), Rotunda Hospital, Saint Vincent Hospital and University College Hospital Galway

It is necessary point out the attendance of Scientific support and Sale Managers of 3 main Flow Cytometry Manufacturers (BD Biosciences, Coulter and DakoCytomation), as well as some other companies as BioSciences.

For more information, please check the UCD-Conway Institute news web page.

Acknowledments after the first Inaugural Meeting

I would like to thank everybody for coming, especially those from outside Dublin for the effort and costs. I want to also thank the support of those members of this community that unfortunately couldn’t come, but are interested in developing this Society.

I have to have one special mention to: Dr. William Watson, Joan Ni Gabhann, Dr. Lucy Golden-Mason, Michael Gantier and Dr. Susanne Barth. I would like to thank all of you for all your help during the first meeting of the Irish Cytometry Society. I want to congratulate you for your clear and brilliant presentation as well as to thank you for your effort in preparing it.

I hope that you have enjoyed, as I did, all the speeches and you consider that all of them were at the level that you wish to see during this event.

For those that couldn’t come, I’ll do a brief summary of the discussion and conclusions:

The creation of this society was successfully approved by everybody, but instead of Irish Cytometry Club, we have chosen to develop this network as Irish Cytometry Society (ICyS). This Society will have as a logo the attached file.

To develop this interesting society BD Biosciences, Brennan & Company - Coulter, DakoCytomation and Alpha Technologies – Partec are very interested in participating in this group and feel it is a very exciting forum for discussion. They are very interested in any future collaboration. They have also offered us their support as sponsorships for future meetings, application courses, workshops,.. organized by the ICyS.

We have also been talking about creating a web page and developing a mailing list. Some people have offered to look for information to develop this idea and we will try to carry it out. The big flow cytometry companies have offered their web pages to introduce a link to the web page that we can develop. We will also try to introduce a link in the web page of some interesting web pages such as the Royal Microscopy Society, the ISAC web page, CytonetUK, etc. Lucy Golden-mason pointed out that the Irish Immunology Society is creating its own web page and she will look for information to do something similar.

Another idea is to create a Database with the names of the people that are actually working or are interested in Flow cytometry, with some details such as: the name of the organization, area, principal interest, contact details, machines that they are using, etc. This information should be very useful to link different groups with common areas and then it could be a powerful tool to share information, interchange ideas, interact, look for new projects, etc.

Probably some of you are thinking of the 2nd Meeting of the ICyS, where and when it will take place and how it will be developed. We have been talking about that and we hope to have the next meeting in 6 months… that’s means before Christmas… Where? I’m not quite sure… But the conclusion was that for the next meeting it could be a full day. During this day, everybody will have 5 minutes to introduce himself and his group, talk about his main interests, and explain his future plans, his doubts, and proposals… Parallel to this, it should be interesting to have panel sessions.

I will continue pushing for the development of the ICyS, but I would like to ask for help and volunteers that want to participate in a Committee. It should be very interesting having people from different institutions (Universities, hospitals, research centers, and enterprises), from different regions of Ireland (Dublin, Cork, Galway, Meath,…) and hopefully from Northern Ireland. The idea is to have a representative person in each area to transmit our wishes and proposals and they could bring these to the committee to evaluate and to carry them out. Any help will be very welcome.

I’m from Spain and I started to work in Ireland 1 year and 6 days ago (17th May 2004) and that’s my way to say thank you for your help, comprehension and the opportunity that you have given me here.

Again, I want to thank everybody for your support, your help and your ideas. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards,


Dr. Alfonso Blanco Fernández

Flow Cytometry Core Facilities
UCD - Conway Institute of Biomolecular & Biomedical Research
University College Dublin
Belfield, Dublin 4

Summary of the Inaugural Meeting

On Friday 20th May, the Inaugural Meeting of the Irish Cytometry Society took place in the UCD-Conway Institute. The event was organised and chaired by Dr Alfonso Blanco, who manages the flow cytometry suite within the Institute. Talks given at the meeting were as follows:
William Watson, Surgery Dept., UCD Mater Hospital & Conway Institute spoke about the "Advantages of Flow Cytometry in measuring Cell Cycle and Apoptosis - Key pathways in cancer development".
This was followed by a presentation on "Phenotypic and Functional Analysis of Lymphocytes" by Joan Ni Gabhann of the Children's Research Centre, Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children, Crumlin.
Lucy Golden-Mason from the Education and Research Centre, St. Vincent's University Hospital, Elm Park addressed the delegates on the "Characterisation of Hematopoietic Stem Cells in Human Tissue".
This was followed by a lecture on the "Use of Flow Cytometry for over-expression / down-regulation experiments in mammalian cells" by Michael Gantier, UCD Medicine and Therapeutics & Conway Institute.
The last lecture of the day was "Applications of Flow Cytometry in Plant Biology" by Susanne Barth of Teagasc Crops Research Centre.

The creation of the Irish Cytometry Society was successfully approved by everybody as well as the logo of the Society.

To develop this interesting society some flow related companies have offered their help and they have been shown very interested in participating in this group and feel it is a very exciting forum for discussion and they have also offered us their support as sponsorships for future meetings, application courses, workshops,… organized by the ICyS.
The main objectives for the future are:
- Keep doing this kind of meetings once or twice per year
- Create a web page and developing a mailing list.
- Create a Database with group and equipment details

This inaugural user group meeting was deemed a great success with many useful exchanges and new contacts made overall during the informal discussions over coffee at the inaugural meeting of the Irish Cytometry Society.
For more information, look the "Conway news web page"


The Irish Cytometry Society (ICyS) has been created in 20th May 2005 in Dublin (UCD-Conway Institute of Biomolecular and Biomedical Research, University College Dublin).

As the user bases for Flow Cytometry has significantly expanded over the last few years and will continue to grow, it has been decided to organise and develop this society to discuss issues such as equipment, applications and research. The range of applications for this technology is very broad and the main idea is create a network of all the groups that are using flow cytometry in the diverse areas of immunology, cancer, zoology, veterinary, botany, microbiology, marine research, etc. This will hopefully lead to improved applications knowledge and use.

The ICyS should be a very important resource not only for the users but also the companies as it would allow them to see what is going on in the scientific community. We have approached all the major manufacturing companies including BD Biosciences, Coulter (Brennan & company), DAKO-Cytomation, and Partec (Alpha Technologies) to help us to establish this exciting network.

Since the beginning, two big meetings had been taken place:

The Inaugural Meeting (20th May 2005) was a walk on different techniques and fields where the flow cytometry shows its potential. At the end of this meeting, the Irish Cytometry Society was founded.

The Second Meeting took place the 30th January 2006, in Dublin (UCD-Conway Institute of Biomolecular and Biomedical Research, University College Dublin), sponsored by DakoCytomation and all the participants had the opportunity to introduce themselves and their groups, as well as to describe their labs, main applications and projects.