‘Instagram’ of the immune system predicts response to anti-PD-1 immunotherapy in melanoma

19 Jan 2018 News

Since the beginning of my scientific career, reaching back to my graduate studies, I was always interested in combining cell biology with conventional flow cytometry, and I followed the rapid development of the flow cytometry field as it went from being able to monitor four parameters all the way up to 16 parameters. In 2014, as an independent fellow with a focus on translational immunology in the University Research Priority Program (URPP) in Zurich, Switzerland and while still deciding on whether to pursue a career in academic science or industry, I had the opportunity to join the laboratory of Burkhard Becher. At that time Burkhard was returning from a sabbatical in the laboratory of Evan Newell at the A*Star Institute, Singapore, where he got insights into the new technology of mass cytometry (MC). MC uses rare metal-labeled probes instead of the more common fluorochrome-labeled probes, thus avoiding spectral overlap from conventional flow, tissue auto-fluorescence and being able to potentially detect up to 100 markers per cell (although, due to practical restrictions, about 50 markers are more realistic to date).

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