Keynote Speaker

Professor Jessica Perea Houston

Jessica Perea Houston, Ph.D., is a Professor of Chemical & Materials Engineering at New Mexico State University (NMSU) in Las Cruces, NM (2009-present). Jessica received her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Texas A&M University (2005) and was a Director’s Postdoctoral Fellow at the Los Alamos National Laboratory Bioscience Division (2006-2009). She is an alumna of NMSU (’00) and is from Santa Fe, NM.

Her research expertise is biomedical instrumentation development with an emphasis on time-resolved flow cytometry systems development, biophotonics and optofluidics. Jessica directs a flow cytometry instrumentation lab at NMSU, has advised over 60 graduate students, undergraduate students and/or postdocs throughout the 13 years she has been at NMSU. Her research is currently supported by a National Institutes of Health R01 grant “Microflow time-resolved flow cytometry for FRET and Fluorescent Protein Development.”

Jessica has been active in multidisciplinary research projects that have involved many collaborators, institutions, and international partners. She was a Faculty Fulbright Scholar in Japan for 6 months in 2018 and develops projects that span support from many granting agencies (including NSF CAREER).  She became a Scholar of the International Society for the Advancement of Cytometry (ISAC) in 2012 and won Best Paper in the journal Cytometry Part A in 2015. She has also received many awards at NMSU including the Synergy-One award (NMSU College of Engineering) Outstanding Junior Faculty (NMSU Hispanic Faculty and Staff Caucus); the Early Career Award (NMSU Research Council) and the Distinguished Career Award (NMSU Office of the Vice President for Research). Presently Jessica serves as President of ISAC. She is an Associate Editor for the Journal, Cytometry Part A and is a Standing Member of the Cell & Molecular Technologies Study Section for the National Institutes of Health Center for Scientific Review. Jessica is also serving as Co-Chair for the Photonics West BiOS Imaging, Manipulation, and Analysis of Biomolecules, Cells, and Tissues conference in San Francisco, CA. 

Invited Speakers

Kerrie Clerici

Kerrie has been a long-standing member of the Cytometry scientists’ community for over 26 years working in Flow Cytometry and Cell Therapy research and clinical laboratories. Currently she oversees the Cell Therapy and Flow Cytometry Laboratory at the Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH). The Cell Therapy and Flow Cytometry Laboratory performs all the diagnostic haematology flow cytometry for the RCH. She was instrumental in implementing MRD testing at RCH in 2011. In 2015 the laboratory met the requirements for approval to perform Children’s Oncology Group (COG) MRD testing for B-ALL patients.

Dr Anna Boss

Dr Anna Boss is a Research Fellow based in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Auckland, where she is investigating how the placental blood vessels develop over gestation and why vascular development and function is compromised in fetal growth restriction, resulting in poor nutrient and oxygen delivery to the baby. Her research has employed multi-colour panels for particularly autofluorescent tissues (placenta/stromal vascular fraction) and used fluorescence activated cell sorting to investigate in vitro properties of stromal and endothelial cell populations. She has uncovered novel vascular/stromal heterogeneity and demonstrated the value of using flow cytometry to characterise stromal/vascular cells.

Dr Emily Edwards

Dr Emily Edwards is a Senior Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Immunology and Pathology at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. Emily completed her PhD studies at Cardiff University before relocating to Australia. She joined the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute in Brisbane in 2011. Here, she studied the phenotypic and functional attributes of CMV-specific CD4+ T cells. In 2014, she was recruited to Prof Stuart Tangye’s Laboratory at the Garvan Institute in Sydney where she commenced her studies in to the molecular and cellular underpinnings of Primary Immunodeficiency (PID). Here, she primarily focused on identifying rare genetic defects that render patients susceptible to severe EBV-associated disease. During this time, she was part of the team who first described CD70-deficiency, and published insights into the mechanisms underlying disease in activated PI3Kδ disease, MAGT1-deficiency and CD27-deficiency.

Emily was recruited to A/Prof Menno van Zelm’s laboratory at Monash University 2018, where she continues her research interest in identifying new genetic defects underlying immunodeficiency, autoimmunity and gastrointestinal disease in Predominantly Antibody Deficiency (PAD). Emily’s work focuses on identifying functional and genetic defects causing PAD. She is the 2022 recipient of the Grifols ASPIRE (Award for Scientific Progress in Immunodeficiency Research) Award which will enable her to develop and standardise functional testing protocols, and new bioinformatic analysis pipelines to facilitate this work. The ultimate aim of this program is advance genetic diagnosis of PAD, thereby increasing patient access to personalised medicine which is urgently needed to reduce the incidence of irreversible organ damage and early death.

Additionally, she received an Allergy and Immunology Foundation of Australasia (AIFA) Primary Immunodeficiency Clinical Research Grant to fund her work examining the SARS-CoV-2-specific antibody levels and neutralization capacity of Australian Immunoglobulin product, and the retention of these capabilities in Primary Immunodeficiency patient plasma. The broader aim of this project is to examine the SARS-CoV-2-specific humoral response (antibody and memory B-cell) to COVID-19 vaccination in Primary Immunodeficiency.

Emily is also the current Vice President of Australian PID patient advocacy and support organisation AusPIPS. She is also a member of The Jeffrey Modell Diagnostic and Research Centre for Primary Immunodeficiencies which was established in Melbourne in 2018, and maintains the Centre’s website and social media platforms. Her dual role as patient advocate and researcher has seen her inclusion in the Global World Primary Immunodeficiency Week Campaigns for the past two years (2022, podcast and 2023, a day in the life of a Primary Immunodeficiency Researcher).

Dr Henry Hui

Dr Henry Hui is an early career researcher at the University of Western Australia, a Marylou Ingram Scholar (International Society for the Advancement of Cytometry) and on the executive council for the Australian Cytometry Society. As an active biomedical scientist-cytometrist, his passion is to charter the intersection of cutting-edge cytometry technologies and methodologies to leverage new frontiers in biological discovery and clinical application. 

His multidisciplinary research leads the world in imaging flow cytometry powered precision diagnostic innovations for haematological malignancies and constitutional disorders affecting adults, children, and neonates. He is the co-inventor of the patented “Immuno-flowFISH” method, a game-changer for blood cancer testing and was awarded the highly prestigious ANSTO 2018 Eureka Prize for Innovative Use of Technology by the Australian Museum. 

He currently collaborates with tertiary hospitals, health care providers, medical technology industries and diagnostic cancer centres globally for the adoption of cytometry powered “bench to bedside” innovations. 

Dr Martin Kraeter

Martin Kräter studied “biology” and “cell biology and genetics” at the University of Leipzig and graduated (M.Sc.) from the institute for medical microbiology and virology under supervision of Uwe G. Liebert. 

After an internship at the German Cancer Research Center in Halle (Saale) investigating transcription factors in acute myeloid leukemia development he moved on to the Technical University of Dresden where he received his PhD in hematopoietic stem cell development in 2017 (summa cum laude). During that time, he teamed up with the group of Jochen Guck to investigate the physical properties of hematopoietic stem cells during blood cell development and started his first postdoc establishing real-time deformability cytometry for blood cell measurements. 

After moving to the Max Plank Institute for the Science of Light & the Max-Plank-Zentrum für Physik und Medizin in Erlangen he was promoted to laboratory manager and researcher group leader in microfluidic-based blood cell diagnostics. His research centers on exploring the physical properties of blood cells in physiological and pathological conditions, aiming at establishing those features as new biomarkers. 

He has authored over 20 peer-reviewed publications and his work has been recognized by the young scientist award of the German Society for Cell Biology in 2019, the Medical Valley Award of the Bayerisches Staatsministerium für Wirtschaft Landesentwicklung und Energie in 2020.

Dr Paul Mead

Paul Mead is a Principal Scientist and Director of the Translational Immunopathology laboratory in the Department of Pathology at St Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  The Translational Immunopathology laboratory is responsible for developing new flow cytometry assays for the Clinical Immunopathology laboratory, where Dr Mead also serves as Technical Director, and to develop and conduct flow assays to support research aims for St Jude-led clinical trials.  The Translational Immunopathology laboratory also supports St Jude’s Global Pathology and Laboratory Medicine’s mission to provide training and assay development for pediatric hematopathologists and clinical flow labs in resource-limited settings across the globe.

 Dr Mead received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in Biochemistry from Massey University, New Zealand and post-doctoral training at Harvard Medical School in the Department of Hematology/Oncology, Children’s Hospital, Boston.  As an independent, NIH-funded investigator in the Department of Pathology, St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Dr Mead’s research interests focused on the development of the hematopoietic system during early embryonic development.  For more than a decade, Dr Mead has been the Director of the Translational Immunopathology laboratory where his research interests have focused on immunophenotyping and minimal residual disease detection of pediatric hematopoietic malignancies.  Most recently, these efforts have been directed towards developing high-parameter spectral flow cytometry panels for diagnosis and treatment follow-up of pediatric leukemias in the clinical laboratory setting.

Dr David Ng

David Ng, MD is an assistant professor at the University of Utah and medical director of the hematologic flow cytometry laboratory at ARUP, the university’s nonprofit national reference laboratory. For several years, he has been working to develop and operationalize advances in machine learning, spectral flow cytometry, and automated specimen processing in a high volume laboratory setting.

Dr Saem Park

Dr Saem Park is a research fellow at the University of Auckland and leads the digital tissue profiling work at Professor Rod Dunbar’s immunology lab. Saem is also a technology mentor at the Maurice Wilkins Centre, a New Zealand Centre of Research Excellence targeting serious human disease, where she connects and supports multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional research projects.

Dr Park’s current research aims to explore the landscape of the tumour microenvironment using an integrative approach that involves high-dimensional flow cytometry, multiplexed tissue imaging, and spatial transcriptomics techniques. She is especially interested in investigating how various types of immune and stromal cells interact with tumour cells in different microenvironments using cutting-edge spatial biology tools. Her recent work was awarded the Chris and Bhama Parish Immunology & Cell Biology Publication of the Year in 2021. Saem widely collaborates with cancer researchers, clinicians and pathologists on various studies aiming to discover novel diagnostic and prognostic markers for human cancer. Her research is supported by the Health Research Council of New Zealand, Maurice Wilkins Centre, and Auckland UniServices.

Dr Justin Rustenhoven

Dr Justin Rustenhoven is a Rutherford Discovery Fellow based in the Centre for Brain Research at the University of Auckland where he investigates how neuroimmune cross-talk in the border regions of the central nervous system maintains homeostatic brain function and how perturbations here can contribute to neurological disease. He completed his PhD at the University of Auckland before performing postdoctoral research at the University of Virginia and Washington University in St Louis in the United States of America. His research has employed high-dimensional spectral and mass cytometry, sorting of rare populations, and scRNA-sequencing to profile the immune and vascular components of the central nervous system border regions, uncovering unique sites for central nervous system antigen presentation and drainage, immune trafficking into the brain, and neuro-immune cross-talk. His work has been published in top journals including Cell, Nature, and Science, and his contributions to the role of the immune system in brain function were recognized by the Science and Eppendorf Prize for Neurobiology in 2021.

Associate Professor Min Shi

Dr. Min Shi is a board-certified hematopathologist and holds the academic rank of Associate Professor at the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Dr. Shi is a medical director of the flow cytometry laboratory at Mayo Clinic, a high-volume reference laboratory with samples from all over the world. She has led the design, validation, and implementation of many clinical flow cytometry assays, including an updated version of a T-cell panel using a novel antibody TRBC1 to establish T-cell clonality. She also led the effort to develop decision rules for NK-cell receptor restriction from large cohorts of healthy donors and NK-cell neoplasms.

Dr. Shi’s research interest is focused on diagnostic and prognostic markers for hematopoietic malignancies, particularly T-cell and NK-cell lymphoproliferative disorders. She has been awarded several grants in translational medicine and authored more than 90 peer-reviewed articles. Dr. Shi has dedicated herself to education by teaching didactic lectures for residents/fellows/clinical technologists and mentoring them to conduct, present and publish research projects. She has presented multiple talks at regional, national and international conferences.

Louisa Stone

Louisa Stone works as a laboratory and clinical haematologist at Te Toka Tumai Auckland Hospital. Since completing her haematology training, she has developed a special interest in flow cytometry and in particular, measurable residual disease analysis, under the mentorship of the late Dr Edward Theakston. Louisa works predominantly at LabPlus which provides regional services for flow cytometry, and national MRD analysis for a range of haematologic malignancies, including B-ALL (COG accreditation), AML, CLL and myeloma.

Dr Marisa Westers

Marisa Westers (full name Theresia Maria Westers) graduated in Clinical Chemistry -specialization Hematology- in Groningen, The Netherlands, in 1989. She started working as a laboratory technician at the Central Laboratory for Blood Transfusion, nowadays Sanquin, Amsterdam) with a focus on flow cytometry and molecular diagnostics in haematological malignancies. 

Since 1998, she has worked at the department of Hematology of the Amsterdam UMC, location VU University Medical Centre, Cancer Centre Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Next to flow cytometry diagnostics, she was involved in research projects concerning T cell subsets in Multiple Sclerosis and immunotherapy in myeloid leukemia. In 2005, she finished her PhD on the subject of ‘Dendritic cell-based immunotherapy in myeloid leukemia´ under supervision of prof.dr. G.J. Ossenkoppele and prof.dr. A.A. van de Loosdrecht. 

After finishing her PhD, she continued working at the department of Hematology of the Amsterdam UMC, location VU University Medical Centre, Cancer Centre Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Here, she coordinates flow cytometry diagnostics in haematological neoplasms. Her current research subject is MDS diagnostics, risk stratification and immunopathogenesis. 

As senior scientist she coaches several PhD students. She is a member of the International/European LeukemiaNet Working Party on MDS Flow Cytometry (iELN-MDSFlow, ≥2008) and the I4MDS working group of EHA (≥2023). She actively participates in education regarding flow cytometry for in-house colleagues, in university curricula and an outreach program. Next to that, she is a speaker on MDS-flow cytometry-related subjects in (inter)national settings such as lectures on scientific findings and MDS-related flow cytometry courses e.g. for the Dutch Society of Cytometry and the ESCCA Prague School of Flow Cytometry.

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