Cytometry researchers win awards at CYTO 2012 show

The International Society for Advancement of Cytometry (ISAC) presented its 2012 awards at the CYTO 2012 show, held June 23–27 in Leipzig, Germany.

The Fulwyler Award for Innovative Excellence—which was established in memory of Mack J. Fulwyler, the inventor of the electrostatic cell sorter—recognizes an individual who has demonstrated outstanding innovation. The winner of the 2012 Fulwyler Award is Leon Terstappen, Ph.D, who received his Ph.D. in Applied Physics from the University of Twente (Enschede, The Netherlands) in 1987, and carried out pioneering cytometry research at Becton Dickinson (BD; Franklin Lakes, NJ). In 1994, he cofounded Immunicon (Huntington Valley, PA), which pioneered the detection of tumor cells in the blood of cancer patients. The resulting CellSearch assay was subsequently approved by the FDA. Upon the sale of Immunicon by a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, Terstappen returned to the University of Twente as a professor in 2007. He has published over 170 papers and is an inventor on 43 patents.

The ISAC Membership Award recognizes those individuals with exceptional service to the cytometry community, as well as to the Society and those who have achieved peer recognition for advancing the field of cytometry. The winner of the 2012 Membership Award is Robert C. Leif, Ph.D., who was recognized for his significant contributions to cytometry technology. These contributions include a sample preparation device for cytology, a unique flow cell used in a commercial hematology analyzer, and the BrdU method for measuring cell proliferation. He is also an inventor of optical devices, and through that area of interest established cytometry as one of the focus areas of SPIE. For many years, Leif has organized and co-chaired a conference at SPIE’s Photonics West meeting that has contributed to bridging between optical science and cytometry. As a founding member of ISAC, Leif has always been active in the Society. He has served on the editorial board of the scientific journal Cytometry, and has been active in establishing data standards.

The ISAC Distinguished Service Award was established to honor those individuals who served the Society in a major role, provided major support to the Society and its members, or made a significant contribution to the success of the Society. The 2012 Distinguished Service Award winners are Jan W. M. Visser, Ph.D., and Peter M. Lansdorp, MD, Ph.D.

Visser has been involved the field of cytometry for several decades as a teacher, researcher, leader, editor, and entrepreneur. He was appointed editor-in-chief of Cytometry in 1997 and served until 2002. He has influenced a large number of individuals over these years, and many of them have become leaders in the field. His research from the 1980s resulted in key discoveries of stem cells, as well as a significant expansion of cell sorting technologies to sort cells.

Lansdorp has served the Society as a member of the governing Council of the Society and participated in the organization of multiple ISAC conferences. He has had a long standing interest in studies of genomic instability, and he has been a pioneer in developing and applying novel cytometric methods to studies of genomic maintenance in aging and cancer. To accomplish novel goals, he has frequently developed new cytometric methods that have subsequently been widely cited and adopted. He is perhaps best known for his seminal work on telomere analysis, including development of telomere fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and Flow-FISH methods. His expertise in measuring telomere lengths on chromosome ends was crucial to the breakthrough scientific reports that formed our present understanding of the role of critically short telomere ends in promoting chromosomal instability, cell cycle arrest, and senescence.

The ISAC President’s Award for Excellence is given to an outstanding early-career Ph.D. for work presented at the Congress. Finalists are selected from abstracts submitted to the CYTO Congress and present their work in a special session of the Congress. The 2012 President’s Award for Excellence winner is Sean Bendall, Ph.D., of Stanford University (Stanford, CA) for his presentation “42 Parameter Mass Cytometry Analysis Reveals Phenotypic and Functional Hallmarks of Human B Cell Development in Vivo.”

The ISAC Exceptional Student Award is awarded to an outstanding graduate or medical student for work presented at the Congress. Finalists are selected from abstracts submitted to the CYTO Congress and present their work in a special session of the Congress. The 2012 Exceptional Student Award winner is Rikke K. Andersen of the University of Southern Denmark for her presentation “Dissection of Melanoma-Specific T-Cell Immunity by Use of Combinatorial Encoding of MHC Multimers.”

ISAC also recognizes outstanding work presented in poster format at the CYTO Congress. The 2012 Outstanding Poster Award winner was Axel Roland Schulz, Charité University Hospital (Berlin, Germany), for "Multiparametric high-throughput characterization of the immune response after seasonal influenza vaccination (2011/12) in young and elderly adults.”

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