Two individuals at the Institute have been recognised by the International Society for the Advancement of Cytometry (ISAC). Dr Rachael Walker, the Head of the Institute’s Flow Cytometry facility was elected an ISAC Council Member, and Dr Oliver Burton was awarded an ISAC scholarship to support future leaders in cytometry. The Society represents a global community of cytometry professionals
Dr Rachael Walker
Dr Rachael Walker joins the ISAC Council for the period of 2022-2026 after many years of active participation both within and beyond ISAC with involvement in the cytometry community at a local, national and international level. Rachael has been the head of the Institute’s Flow Cytometry facility since 2012 and possesses considerable experience in shared resource lab (SRL) management to support both academic and commercial research.
Commenting on her election to the ISAC Council, Rachael said: “The education of users is key to any good facility and I am keen to support education matters to develop the skills of researchers using cytometry. Having benefited so much from ISAC in the past, I can’t wait to lend my support to further its aims of empowering scientists and growing this global community, which I so much enjoy being a part of.”
Rachael’s election to the ISAC Council follows a number of ISAC-related roles. She was a past co-chair of the Membership Services Committee, and is a current member of the Finance Committee, SRL Committee, and Chair of the SRL Emerging Leader taskforce.
Dr Oliver Burton
ISAC’s Leadership Development Programme also announced awards across the three tracks of Innovators, Marylou Ingram Scholars and SRL Emerging Leaders. Dr Oliver Burton was accepted to the ISAC Marylou Ingram Scholars leadership development programme for 2022 – 2025. The programme is designed to support the scientific leadership potential of postdoctoral research scientists operating in the quantitative cell sciences. Oliver, a staff scientist in the Liston lab within the Institute’s Immunology research programme, kicked off his participation in the programme with attendance at the Society’s CYTO 2022 meeting, ISAC’s annual international congress of cell analysis technology and applications, which included dedicated leadership development sessions and personal introductions to the Society’s key figures. As an ISAC Marylou Scholar, Oliver joins an international community of flow cytometry specialists with opportunities for networking and collaboration.
Reflecting on joining the scholarship programme, Oliver said: “The ISAC programme offers opportunities to collaborate and interact with other leading cytometrists around the world. I’m looking forward to sharing the knowledge and knowhow we’ve developed, and reciprocally, hearing about exciting new technical developments that might advance our science.”
Oliver’s immunology research explores regulatory T cells, tissue immunity and cellular migration. Flow cytometry is an essential tool in the team’s approach, and is being applied in innovative and exciting ways to model how immune cells migrate around the body, and develop technological platforms to assess hundreds of genetic modifications in an economical and high-throughput way.
Oliver’s expert knowledge is put to use across the research team and more widely to help people get the best out of their work using flow cytometry. Beyond the Institute, the new methods Oliver has helped develop are being taken up in labs around the world.
Commenting on the flow cytometry capability and specialist expertise and training available at the Institute, Oliver said: “The flow facility here is top notch. The staff are knowledgeable, helpful and eager for a challenge. Rachael is constantly pushing to improve the standard of equipment, and we have some truly fantastic machines. The training provided by the Flow and Bioinformatics facilities means new users can get a thorough instruction in theory and advanced analysis techniques, as well as learning how to operate the machines.”
The recent success of Dr Walker and Dr Burton continues a history of participation and recognition of Institute scientists with ISAC, with Dr Walker also having received a Marylou Ingram Scholarship in 2012 (transferring to the SRL Emerging Leaders Programme when it was established in 2014). Another member of the Institute’s Flow Cytometry facility, Christopher Hall, became an SRL Emerging Leader in 2019.
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L>R: Oliver Burton, Christopher Hall and Rachael Walker
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