Two weeks ago, the Cellix team travelled to Prague to participate in Cyto 2018, a conference focused on the cutting edge of flow cytometry research.
In the first of a 4 part series, here's our five key take-aways from the conference.
I've been attending Cyto 2018 with Cellix for several years now and it's always an informative conference, covering developments in flow cytometry, advanced microscopy, flow reagents and data interpretation and presentation. This year saw commercial workshops, nearly 70 companies exhibiting, scientific tutorials and quality lectures.
The use of flow cytometry to understand cell mechanisms and human disease has always been a staple of the field and, by extension, the conference. However, this year I noticed a new and exciting trend; the increased use of flow cytometry in novel applications in gene therapy and human therapeutics. This is something that's really opening the field up to compelling possibilities and broadening the horizon of what the technology can achieve. There was a definite shift in attitude and content this year compared with previous - it seems many researchers found this trend as compelling as I did!
I was invited to present a talk along with Emmanuelle Deponge, one of our board of directors with extensive venture capital experience, about starting up a technology company from scratch.
We looked at this from both the entrepreneurial and VC perspective. It seemed to resonate with those in the crowd who had been involved in a similar process, and I had several people approach me leading to some excellent discussions (which I'll outline later in the post series!).
After that, we were free to enjoy the conference! While the Cellix team were showcasing our own Inish Mini-Bar, I also got the chance to speak to some people at the forefront of the flow cytometry field. From the information I gathered at Cyto 2018, some of my take home points and predictions would be:
Summary: Our 5 Biggest Takeaways from Cyto 2018
Take home: Cyto this year saw a move away from its roots as a basic research conference into more clinically applied aspects.
Prediction: As gene editing technologies become more accessible, this trend will continue, as specialists in flow cytometry see applications for basic research tools in a clinical setting.
Take home: Many systems at Cyto 2018 were more integrated than their predecessors e.g. the integration of electroporators on chip and also an increase in interest in cell sorting. An example of this would be the Miltenyi CliniMACS Prodigy; not on display at Cyto but much discussed.
Prediction: Therapeutic cell sorting will increasingly become integrated with gene transfection and editing technologies until we have point-of-care treatments for genetic diseases. Innovations in integrated systems will shape further advances in both basic and clinical research.