The BD Biosciences Webinar Series is an ongoing, informative program in which senior scientists, professionals in the community, and clinicians present online seminars covering a broad range of topics.


Flow Cytometry as a Tool for Microbial Analysis

Date: Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Time: 12 PM EDT / 9 AM PDT / 5 PM BST / 6 PM CEST
Karen K. Ersland, PhD
Technical Applications Specialist, BD Biosciences

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Flow cytometry is a powerful technique for analyzing microorganisms such as bacteria and yeast, and offers many advantages over more conventional techniques. For example, flow cytometry can rapidly count and analyze microbial populations, and simultaneously assess cell viability and vitality, thus providing a fast and efficient alternative to dilution plating or manual counting. Portable, personal flow cytometers such as the BD Accuri™ C6 can be taken out of the lab to analyze fresh samples in the field.

This presentation will discuss the advantages and challenges of flow cytometry in microbial analysis. Examples will be drawn from environmental science, bioprocessing, and biofuel research applications, including analysis of marine and freshwater ecosystems, bacterial contamination in drinking water, and monitoring the health of bacterial cultures.


Dr. Karen Ersland received her PhD degree in cellular and molecular pathology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her thesis focused on host/pathogen interactions and immune responses in fungal vaccine models. Karen continued her work at the Flow Cytometry Core at the Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Wisconsin, where she focused on flow cytometry assays for cancer biology and microbiology, as well as cell sorting.

Karen's areas of expertise include:

  1. Multicolor flow cytometry and assay design
  2. Infection and immunology with an emphasis on vaccine design and host/pathogen interaction
  3. Cell sorting
  4. Flow cytometry assays for cancer biology and microbiology

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