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.


Addressing the Challenges of Characterizing Mesenchymal Populations Using Multicolour Flow Cytometry*

Date: Thursday, May 28, 2015
Time: 10 AM PDT / 1 PM EDT / 6 PM BST / 7 PM CEST
Dr. Anna Brooks
Maurice Wilkins Centre, The University of Auckland, New Zealand
School of Biological Sciences, The University of Auckland, New Zealand

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Multicolour flow cytometry is a powerful method for detecting and characterizing multiple cell populations simultaneously in a complex sample, such as dissociated tissue. However, multicolour flow cytometry (>10 colours) in the mesenchymal field has only recently become an achievable goal using commercially available reagents due to the relatively recent release of antibodies conjugated to a number of new fluorescent dyes.

In this webcast, our expert speaker will discuss how they have optimized a 16-colour panel to characterize mesenchymal and vascular cells in the dermal layer of human skin. Dr Brooks will address the challenges faced when working with dissociated tissue, especially when the cell targets are non-hematopoietic cells, and will offer helpful tips to those working with complex tissues and developing multicolour panels.


Dr Anna Brooks received her PhD in Immunology at the University of Auckland, New Zealand in 2008. Since then, she has been working in human immunology and more recently mesenchymal cell compartments. Anna also manages the Flow Cytometry centre within the Science Faculty and is experienced in multicolour panel development.

Learning Outcomes:

In this webinar you will learn:

  • Tips/challenges for working with dissociated tissue,
  • How BD Horizon™ Brilliant Stain Buffer can improve your staining patterns when using BD Horizon Brilliant™ dyes and therefore improve the quality and validity of your data,
  • That panel design is an iterative process,
  • How discoveries using multicolour flow cytometry can facilitate other techniques, such as in situ localisation.

You will also have the opportunity to ask questions of our speaker, live during the broadcast!

*This webcast is produced and sponsored by the journal Nature.


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

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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.


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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