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Highlights of BD Biosciences at IMMUNOLOGY2023™


The annual scientific meeting of the American Association of Immunologists, IMMUNOLOGY2023™, took place in May (11–15) in Washington D.C. with enthusiastic participation from over 3,500 immunologists across the country. Spirits were high as scientists gathered to share their discoveries. A special highlight was a surprise guest lecture by Dr. Anthony Fauci, former director of the NIAID, on pandemic preparedness and lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Fauci impressed the audience with his extensive knowledge gained over an illustrious career and provided important lessons learned for future pandemic preparedness.


Emerging scientific trends

Several scientific trends stood out at this year’s meeting. There was a focus on interaction between the immune system and other body systems, in particular the gut-immune cell-brain axis and how it can affect anything from weight loss or gain to cancer progression, food avoidance or pain sensitivity. Additionally, the role of the microbiome in immune cell differentiation and response to disease was discussed at length. Epigenetics and the role of DNA modulation in immune response was the other topic that attracted a lot of attention at the conference. Epigenetic memory and how it can play a critical role in boosting innate immune responses and promote immune protection after infection was a hot topic. For example, Dr. Steven Josefowicz demonstrated that acute COVID-19 infection and associated inflammation created durable epigenetic memory in innate immune cells. New technologies and methods for analyzing immune interactions within tissues as well as new sequencing-based approaches garnered a lot of attention at the conference. The emergence and adoption of specific sequencing-based approaches such as TEA-Seq, RAGE-Seq, PIP-Seq and ExCITE-Seq, that are used to interrogate diverse immunological mechanisms like memory, repertoire, metabolic state, and other related mechanisms were discussed in detail.


BD Biosciences sponsorship

As a Gold Sponsor at this year’s meeting, BD Biosciences had the unique opportunity to present our cutting-edge science and new educational tools to the meeting attendees. BD played a significant scientific role at the conference with two workshops and seven poster presentations as well as participating in several moderated panel discussions. One of the workshops focused on the use of FlowJo™ Software for high-dimensional analysis. A set of new tools and approaches for clustering and forward propagation of results to future experiments were explained in detail during the workshop as well as in follow-up conversations at the booth after the presentation. This functionality was illustrated within the framework of a BD® Research Cloud workflow, demonstrating how the full workflow can be streamlined and the results shared easily with collaborators.


The second workshop discussed optimization of a high-parameter spectral flow cytometry panel to investigate human immune diversity. It focused on how different experimental conditions and fluorochrome choices can affect the biological resolution and interpretation of a deep 38-color NK and T cell spectral flow cytometry panel.




New product launches

BD Horizon RealYellow™ and BD Horizon RealBlue™ Reagents were heavily featured at IMMUNOLOGY2023™. These new laser-specific reagents are engineered to deliver reduced spillover and help researchers expand the number of parameters detected in a single sample. Additionally, there was an in-booth presentation given by Mimosa Sarma, PhD, on the new BD Rhapsody™ HT Xpress System, that leverages BD microwell-based single-cell partitioning technology to perform single-cell analysis. BD also showcased the new BD FACSDiscover™ S8 Cell Sorter with BD CellView™ Image Technology and BD SpectralFX™ Technology. Many excited researchers came to the booth to see the instrument in person and ask questions about its capabilities.




An array of new digital tools

BD has been working hard to help make experimental design and analysis easier for researchers. Several new tools were launched at IMMUNOLOGY2023™ to help with this process, including the Interactive Human Cell Map, the Clone Comparison tool and the updated BD® Spectrum Viewer. In addition, BD also showcased BD® Research Cloud, a new online ecosystem supporting flow cytometry studies, which can help design panels, create BD FACSDiva™ Software experiments, store, share, and analyze data with FlowJo™ Software, and collaborate with coworkers by assigning workflows or specific tasks associated with the experiments.


The updated version of FlowJo™ Software, v10.9, with a number of new features, was of huge interest to the audience both at the workshops and at the booth. Embed (forward propagating dimensionality reduction or clustering results) and being able to easily name clusters based on their expression with marker enrichment modeling (MEM) were two key features that brought users back with their colleagues to learn more.


And the AAI-BD Biosciences Investigator Award goes to…

The AAI-BD Biosciences Award recognizes an early-career investigator for their outstanding contributions in immunology. This year, Bob Balderas, VP of Biological Sciences, presented Dr. Gregory F. Sonnenberg from Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, the prestigious AAI-BD Biosciences Award for his work on innate regulation of immunity, inflammation, tolerance and cancer. Following the award presentation, Dr. Sonnenberg gave a stimulating presentation on his studies elucidating the role of RORγt+ Tregs in gut microbiota tolerance.


Fun moments at the BD booth

The BD booth at IMMUNOLOGY2023™ was a colorful, fun-filled attraction. Debuting new this year was the ImmunoWars game where meeting attendees could travel to outer space in immune-cell spaceships and battle infectious pathogens for bragging rights and the top score. Another alluring element was the creative butterfly theme, celebrating the launch of the next-generation laser-specific BD Horizon RealYellow™ and BD Horizon RealBlue™ Reagents. Bright yellow butterflies adorned the floor of the booth and accompanied a large butterfly mural that integrated science, technology, fun, and the conference location of Washington D.C. The mural provided a fun activity for conference attendees to check out the artwork and take a selfie.




Poster presentations

BD Biosciences scientists presented seven posters at AAI. Posters highlighted single-cell capture and analysis with the BD Rhapsody™ HT Xpress System and novel applications of imaging and spectral flow cytometry. There was also a poster featuring new antibody-fluorochrome conjugates and the importance of the glycolytic pathway on T cell activation.


Download all the BD Biosciences technical posters presented at AAI.

For Research Use Only. Not for use in diagnostic or therapeutic procedures.

BD FACSDiscover™ S8 Cell Sorter is a Class I Laser Product.

BD-91232 (v1.0) 0623