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.

Biosafety and Cell Sorting: The Essentials

Date: Tuesday, June 9, 2015
Time: 1 PM EDT / 10 AM PDT / 6 PM CET
Kevin L. Holmes, PhD, Chief, Flow Cytometry Section
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease
National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA

Register here »


Modern cell sorters are used to facilitate the goals of a wide variety of biomedical applications in both basic and applied research by providing the means to identify and physically isolate cell subsets at high rates and accuracy. However, to achieve this, the large majority of cell sorters are designed with a "stream-in-air" fluidics system, which in the event of a nozzle obstruction might lead to significant aerosol generation. Aerosol generation by these instruments is potential biohazard. In this webinar, the biosafety aspects of modern cell sorters will be presented. This will include a summary of the known hazards and the policies and procedures that have been published to mitigate the risks associated with cell sorting in biomedical laboratories. In particular, aspects of the newly published ISAC (International Society for the Advancement of Cytometry) Cell Sorter Biosafety Standards will be presented.

Dr. Kevin Holmes received his PhD degree in Human Anatomy from the Medical College of Virginia in 1981, where his thesis was in developmental immunology. Subsequently he had post-doctoral experience in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, and at the Department of Biochemistry at George Washington University in Washington, DC. Dr. Holmes came to the NIH in 1983 as a post-doctoral fellow in the Laboratory of Immunopathology.

Dr. Holmes was made head of the newly formed NIAID Flow Cytometry Section in 1987. The FCS currently consists of eight BD FACSAria™ cell sorters, five analyzers, and an Amnis Imagestream. Two of the BD FACSArias are housed in separate BSL3 laboratories in the Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Disease building on the NIH Bethesda campus.

Dr. Holmes is chair of the ISAC Biosafety committee, and recently was lead author on the updated ISAC Cell Sorter Biosafety Standards. He is a member of the NIH Institutional Biosafety Committee, and is chair of the NIH Occupational Health and Safety Committee.

Class 1 Laser Product.
For Research Use Only. Not for use in diagnostic or therapeutic procedures.