Flow cytometry: The core characterisation technique for developing next-generation cancer immunotherapies

CAR-T immunotherapy involves genetically engineering T-cells with chimeric antigen receptors (CARs). FLOW cytometry uses antibodies tagged with fluorescent markers that bind to specific cell receptors. The labelled cells are then fed through a series of lasers and profiled using software such as FLOWLOGIC. FLOW cytometry works to predict pre-clinical outcomes of CAR-T cells.

Friday, the 26th of July 2019, was Science Day, a science conference that involved students from Victoria’s Select Entry Network Schools. The event aimed to promote the fields of Biology, Chemistry, and Physics to students, engaging them in discussions on advancements in the fields through various workshop activities and keynotes.

Dr Nicholas Boyd, Research Fellow at Cartherics, had the opportunity to present a workshop to high schoolers about some of the advancements in technologies that are used regularly at Cartherics. Nick gave the students an introduction to CAR-T immunotherapy, and guided them through the theory and applications behind the FLOW cytometry technique, including a dive into profiling raw data using the FLOWLOGIC software.

According to Enoch Appathurai, a student at Melbourne High School who helped organise Science Day, the students found the talk very engaging and inspiring, and especially enjoyed the opportunity to learn about some of the ‘nuts and bolts’ behind the work done at Cartherics. We look forward to seeing the future scientists in this group of students flourish.