AFCG 2012: Invited Speaker Biographies
Prof Phil Hodgkin, Walter & Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
Talk title: “The struggle for life, death and personality within lymphocytes: How flow cytometry and cell imaging are revealing secrets of immune regulation”
Phil Hodgkin is an immunologist who aims to create in silico models of immune responses that accommodate the large body of immune knowledge.
Professor Hodgkin studied Microbiology at the University of Western Australia and obtained his PhD from the John Curtin School for Medical Research in Canberra in 1985. He then undertook postdoctoral studies at the DNAX Research Institute in Palo Alto California where he broadened his initial interests in cytokine production from T cells to the regulation of antibody production and isotype switching by B lymphocytes. In 1990 he returned to Australia to take up a Research Fellowship at the John Curtin School of Medical Research and in 1995 he was appointed Group leader at the Centenary Institute for Medical Research. In 2000 he moved again to the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne and in 2006 he was appointed Head of the Immunology Division.
Professor Hodgkin’s research interests have centred upon the regulation of fate decisions by lymphocytes. While at DNAX he helped develop a new view of T-B cell collaboration that accommodated the generation of a novel T cell surface stimulatory ligand, later shown to be the CD40 ligand. In recent years his laboratory has concentrated on quantitative studies of T and B cell growth and differentiation. His laboratory has established new techniques that complement the applications of CFSE fluorescent division tracking introduced by Lyons and Parish. Using these methods his laboratory discovered division-linked differentiation by lymphocytes where a program of cellular changes can unfold as cells divide. His laboratory is currently developing a suite of analytical tools for exploring the impact of cytokines and genetic changes on lymphocyte growth, survival and differentiation. He was President of the Australasian Society of Immunology (ASI) from 2005 to 2006. He has published over 100 articles in both theoretical and experimental immunology.
Dr Andy Rawston, Leeds Teaching Hospitals
Talk Title: “Disease monitoring in B-cell malignancies”
Dr. Andy Rawstron qualified from Edinburgh University with a BSc in Immunology in 1992. He became a Clinical Scientist at the Haematological Malignancy Diagnostic Service in Leeds and was awarded a Doctorate of Philosophy in 2002. Dr. Rawstron’s work into the understanding of CLL, both in terms of defining the nature of Monoclonal B-Lymphocytosis and in developing and standardizing the assessment of minimal residual disease (MRD) in CLL, has been internationally recognized. His work in coordinating a standard approach to MRD analysis in CLL has encouraged close collaboration between many of the laboratories on the cutting edge of CLL research. Dr. Rawstron has a diagnostic service commitment in the development, selection and interpretation of relevant tests for the diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of haematological malignancy. Within this role he has developed a National award-winning service for monitoring people with MGUS (monoclonal gammopathy of unknown significance) or early stage CLL.
Dr David Barnett, Department of Haematology, Royal Hallamshire Hospital
Talk Title: “EQA in Clinical Flow Cytometry: Has anything changed in 27 years?”
Dr Barnett’s current position is Consultant Clinical Scientist and Honorary Senior Lecturer in Haematology at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital and has worked in the National Health Service for 36 years.
He obtained his PhD from Nottingham Trent University in 1991 following submission of his thesis entitled ‘Activation Antigens In The Proliferation Of Normal And Malignant Leucocyte’ with particular emphasis on the distribution of the interleukin-2 receptor using 3 colour flow cytometry.
His current primary responsibilities are as Deputy Director of the UK National External Quality Assessment Scheme for Leucocyte Immunophenotyping and Scientific Director of Clinical Cellular Immunophenotyping, as well as serving on several national and international committees relating to cellular immunophenotyping. Dr Barnett is curently on the editorial board for Clinical Cytometry and has been the co-author of over 100 peer-reviewed publications, chapters and abstracts and national guidelines, primarily in the field of flow cytometry, quality control and cellular immunophenotyping. He is co-author on a number of patents governing the production of stabilised whole blood material and clinical sample preservation which were the first in the world to be developed. Dr Barnett became a Member of the Royal College of Pathologists (MRCPath) in 2001 and was admitted as a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists 2008 and in the same year received The International Clinical Cytometry’s Wallace Coulter Distinguished Lecturer Award for Outstanding Contributions to Clinical Flow Cytometry, the first UK resident to receive this award.
Dr Ryan Brinkman, Terry Fox Laboratory
Talk title: “Automated Analysis of Flow Cytometry Data for Diagnosis and Discovery”
Ryan Brinkman’s research is focused on flow cytometry bioinformatics: developing automated data analysis methods for large, high-dimensional datasets. Early work centred on creating the data standards and a free, open source computational infrastructure to support high throughput computational statistics. Recent efforts have concentrated around developing complete analysis pipelines that cover all the steps from raw data to diagnosis and discovery. The R/BioConductor flow analysis platform now supports diverse collaborative research and patient care projects in cancer and immunology. Dr. Brinkman is also active in the community as Chair of ISAC’s Data Standards Task Force, ISAC Councilor, organizer of the Flow Informatics and Computational Cytometry Society (FICCS.org), and coordinating the Flow Cytometry: Critical Assessment of Population Identification Methods (FlowCAP.flowsite.org) Project. Dr. Brinkman is a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar, a Terry Fox Foundation New Investigator, and previously an ISAC Scholar.
Dr David Westerman, Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute
Talk Title: “AML Flow and MRD The Mount Everest for Cytometrists?”
David Westerman graduated from the University of Melbourne in 1987 and attained his dual fellowships (FRACP & FRCPA) in 1997. He has held the position of Head of Haematopathology at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne since 2000. He holds an honorary appointment with the University of Melbourne at the St Vincent’s Hospital Clinical School and the Dept of Pathology and is a visiting specialist at Freemason’s Medical Centre. He has been chairman of the Peter MacCallum Transfusion Committee for the last decade. Dr Westerman has broad clinical and laboratory interests including flow cytometry which are reflected in his numerous peer reviewed publications.
Dr Danny Hatters, University of Melbourne
Talk Title: “Tracking protein localization and conformational change in cells with flow cytometry”
Danny Hatters completed his PhD at the University of Melbourne in 2002. He then did a post doc at the Gladstone Institutes/University of California, San Francisco under the mentorship of Dr Karl Weisgraber for 5 years until 2007. There he studied how three variants of apolipoprotein E, apoE2, apoE3 and apoE4 differ in their conformation and biophysical properties as a basis for understanding the mechanisms underlying the elevated risk that the apoE4 isoform confers for Alzheimer’s disease. In April 2007, he returned to Melbourne to take up a CR Roper Fellowship position in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. In 2009 he was awarded the Grimwade Fellowship to continue developing his own research program focusing on how protein conformations lead to cellular dysfunction and disease.
Dr Frank Battye, Flow Cytometry Consulting
Talk Title: “The Renaissance Flow cytometrist: Venturing into multi-disciplinary research and development”
Frank Battye managed the flow cytometry facility at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute from 1977 to 2012, having moved into the field from a background in solid-state physics research. In flow cytometry he is a joint author on 33 original publications plus 2 reviews and a technical protocol. He is a founding member and past president of the society that is now the AFCG. Apart from his task of administering a large and busy facility, Frank’s interests have been in flow cytometry instrument development and in the creation of data acquisition and analysis software. He continues to pursue those interests as a private flow cytometry and technical software development consultant. He is the author of the WEASEL flow cytometry data analysis and display program which he continues to develop.
Prof Stephen Turner, The University of Melbourne
Talk Title: “Dissection of T cell responses to influenza A virus infection: from single cell to whole genome.”
Dr Turner is currently Professor and an Australian Research Council Future Fellow in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, The University of Melbourne. Upon completion of his PhD in 1997, Dr Turner undertook postdoctoral training with Dr Janet Ruby, The University of Melbourne examining the immunopathogenesis of pox viral infection. He worked with Nobel Laureate Professor Peter Doherty, Dept of Immunology, St Judes Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, TN where he developed novel approaches for high resolution analysis of influenza-specific T cell immunity. He returned to Australia, in 2002 and has led his own research group since 2005. His research interests utilise a combination of advanced flow cytometry, structural biology, genomics, systems biology, recombinant viral technology and cellular immunology to examine factors that impact T cell responses to virus infection.
Dr Sara Prickett, Monash University
Talk Title: “FACS in pursuit of a cure for peanut allergy”
Throughout her research career Dr Pricket has analysed the role of CD4+ T cells during infection or disease, with the aim of improving pathological outcomes. She was awarded her PhD from Imperial College, London in 2004 where she developed transgenic Leishmania parasites to study in vivo antigen-specific CD4+ T cell responses in murine models of Leishmaniasis. She moved to Melbourne in 2005 to take up a post-doctoral position at The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute investigating the role of CD4+ T cells in the pathogenesis of malarial anaemia. In 2007 she moved to Monash University Central Clinical School in Melbourne where she began working in human immunology and has since designed and characterised a CD4+ T-cell epitope-based peptide immunotherapeutic to treat peanut allergy. Her hope is to progress this therapeutic to clinical trial within 2 years.
Dr Mary Sartor, Westmead Hospital
Talk Title: “External QAP case studies from the UK and Australia – an afternoon with David & Mary”
Mary Sartor is the senior scientist in the flow cytometry laboratory at Westmead Hospital. She has a major interest in the use of flow cytometry for the diagnosis of malignant haematological disease and in its use in the monitoring of minimal residual disease, Mary is a member of the iBFM study group examining MRD in childhood ALL and is the convenor for the external RCPA Oncology immunophenotyping program.
Dr Kate Burbury, Peter MaCallum Cancer Centre
Talk Title: “Standardisation of the Role of Flow Cytometry Testing in Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS)”
Dr Burbury is the lead Haematologist for Haemostasis and Thrombosis at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. Trained in Haematology and Haematopathology at the Royal Hobart Hospital in Tasmania, John Radcliffe Hospital in the UK and completed fellowship training at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre Melbourne. In 1999 she received her DPhil with a thesis on The epidemiology of cardiovascular disease among patients with chronic renal failure from Oxford University UK. Kate has an active research program with a particular interest in the haemostatic dysfunction associated with malignancy and flow cytometry in MDS – and is a member of the European Leukaemia Network flow cytometry working party. She has been actively involved in numerous clinical trials and is currently the lead PI on a clinical trials in Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia, JAK-2 inhibitors in myeloproliferative disorders and thrombogenic biomarker profiles and Thromboprophylaxis in cancer patients. She is also the lead clinician for a number of laboratory based projects including Thrombogenic biomarkers in malignancy and the Utility of flow cytometry in Myelodysplasia. She has published a number of peer-reviewed manuscripts as well as being a member of the editorial board for American Journal of Blood Research and is an invited reviewer for numerous journals. She has an extensive list of presented abstracts/presentations at scientific meetings and has been invited on numerous occasions to be an invited speaker at a number of national scientific meetings.
Ms Julie Auger, University of California San Francisco
Talk Title: “Collaborative Big Science and the Role of Shared Resources”
Julie is the Executive Director, Research Resource Program at the University of California San Francisco. Prior to taking her current post, Julie was at the University of Chicago where she directed the operations of 30 unique core facilities as the Executive Director of Shared Research Operations for the Division of Biological Sciences and Associate Director of Core Facilities at the University’s Comprehensive Cancer Centre. She helped lead the major overhaul in the organisation and administration of shared research resources resulting in financial stabilisation of cores, transparency in funding subsidies to facilities, improvement of under-performing operations by consolidation or service “sunsetting” and improved recruitment and retention of expert personnel. Julie developed her strong core facility management experience at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and at the University of Chicago where she developed internationally reputed flow cytometry core facilities before applying her change management skills at the institutional level.
A/Prof Susie Nilsson, CSIRO
Talk Title: “Flow Cytometry, Haemopoietic Stem Cells and their Niche”
Associate Professor Susie Nilsson (nee Begg) is currently an ARC Future Fellow and head of the Niche Laboratory within CMSE at CSIRO. She graduated with her PhD 17 years ago. Associate Professor Nilsson is both nationally and internationally recognised for her research interests devoted to understanding the hemopoietic stem cell niche and mechanisms that regulate haemopoietic stem cells. She leads an independent program as well as having significant national and international collaborations. She has had continuous national and international peer-reviewed project grant support (NHMRC, Association for International Cancer Research, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of America, CASS foundation) as well as being awarded an NHMRC CJ Martin and an RD Wright fellowship prior to her ARC Future Fellowship. In addition she has been involved in the successful application for multiple equipment grants (NHMRC, Association for Cancer Research Foundation). Associate Professor Nilsson is the author of 53 publications, including 36 in the past 10 years. During this time she has been invited to submit 8 peer reviewed reviews and 7 book chapters. In the past decade, she been awarded 6 patents, all of which are at various stages from provisional applications to national phase. Her contributions have led to 58 invited, keynote and plenary lectures at academic institutions (national and international) and conferences (national and international). To date she has an H factor of 27 and has >2900 lifetime citations. She is currently an associate editor of Experimental Hematology. Recently she was the chair of the local orgainsing committee for the International Society of Experimental Hematology annual meeting in Melbourne in September 2010. She is currently a member of Experimental Hematology, International Society for Stem Cell Research and the International Society for Cellular Therapy, where she is the chair of the HSC Committee.
Dr Paul Neeson, Peter McCallum Cancer Centre
Talk title: “T- & NKT-cell analysis using multi-parameter flow in a translational research lab”
Paul Neeson completed his undergraduate science degree at RMIT University with a major in Haematology. He followed this with a PhD at the University of Melbourne (Pathology Department), his thesis work focused on cancer immunology. During this time, he led the clinical immunology and bone marrow transplant units at the Austin hosipital. He then moved to Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania to do a post-doc with Yvonne Paterson. He worked on novel lymphoma vaccines in pre-clinical models of lymphoma, modeling HIV vaccines and antigen presentation studies with novel vaccines. He returned to Melbourne and the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre to set up a human translational research lab in the Cancer Immunology Research program. The focus of the lab has been on translating novel immune therapeutics into clinical trials, monitoring patient responses to immune based therapies, investigating novel drug mechanism of action and developing humanized mouse models.
Mr Peter Gambell, Peter McCallum Cancer Centre
Talk title: “Clinical Flow on the Edge – novel flow markers in Oncology Immunophenotyping”
Peter Gambell is the Scientist-in-charge of the Haematopathology & HPC-A cryopreservation laboratories at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne. He graduated from RMIT (BAppSc) in 1992 and worked at The Austin Hospital for almost 10 years. After spending the first few years in Haematology & Bloodbank labs at The Austin, he moved across to the Immunology laboratory where he developed his passion for Diagnostic Clinical Flow Cytometry. He moved to Dorevitch Pathology in 2001 where he setup a diagnostic Oncology Flow Cytometry laboratory. He has held his current position at Peter Mac since 2002. Peter completed his Masters in Health Services Management at Monash University in 2005. He is currently Chair of the Victorian Branch of the Australian Institute of Medical Scientists and is a member of a number of other professional societies including ISLH, ISCT, HSANZ, AFCG and BMTSAA. Peter is also the current convenor of the Melbourne-based Clinical Flow Cytometry Users Group.
Dr Elizabeth Todorova, Box Hill Hospital
Talk title: “CNS Lymphomas and Flow Cytometry”
Laboratory Haematologist with more than 15 years experience in clinical flow cytometry and morphology, as well as flow cytometry laboratory management. Qualified as a medical doctor in 1985 in Bulgaria. From 1997 to 2005 she has worked as a Head of Flow Cytometry Laboratory at Liverpool Hospital, Sydney, Australia. Since 2005 she has been in charge of the Flow Cytometry Laboratory at Eastern Health Pathology, Teaching Hospital of Monash Medical School, Melbourne, Australia. Dr Todorova’s scientific interests lie in the field of Haematology and Neuroimmunohaematology. She is interested in studying the pathological changes of the lymphocyte subpopulations in CSF in inflammatory, demyelinating, autoimmune and oncological diseases of the nervous system. She was awarded PhD in 1992 for her thesis “CNS Involvement in Patients with Haematological Malignancies: Morphologic and Flow Cytometric Studies. The Role of the Cell Adhesion Molecules in CNS Metastatic Process”.