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Immunology Center will continue to drive standard methods, better science
Date:12/11/2008

number and characteristics can be measured. Dyes are an older technology, limited in number and with overlapping emission spectra, which means they interfere with each other. RHIC teams will seek to establish new Q-dot production methods to replace and extend dye capability. As RHIC machinery gets more complex, it will become increasingly able to pick apart and to build accurate immune cell models.

Thirdly, the team will seek to design better "gating" procedures. Flow cytometry separates cell types by brightness into groups, and gating is the process by which researchers select which cells go into each group. The current process in many labs is arbitrary, tedious and has poor reproducibility between operators because research teams select patterns of cell characteristics "by eye." The field of flow cytometry is in desperate need of high-speed automation to process the "mountains of data" generated by the tests, and when gating the results, researchers said. The current process is greatly slowing the pace of discovery as research teams do double duty with lab work and time-consuming computational work.

One unique capability that drove the RHIC renewal was that the Medical Center has a world-leading core of biostatisticians along with leading immunologists. Led by Hulin Wu, Ph.D., chief of the Department of Biostatistics and Computational Biology, the biostatistics team within RHIC will seek to establish statistically-rigorous, automated gating protocols for flow cytometry analysis that will greatly increase the reproducibility of data and the speed of flow cytometry lab by lab.

"The NIAID reviewers that voted to renew the RHIC grant seem to have validated the fundamental concept of our center that centralizing the development and deployment of sophisticated technologies increases the efficiency of many other studies," said Tim Mosmann, Ph.D., principal investigator of the RHIC grant, and director and Michael and Angela Pichichero Dire
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Contact: Greg Williams
Greg_Williams@urmc.rochester.edu
University of Rochester Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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