About the speaker
Unni C Nygaard, Senior scientist in Dept. for Toxicology and Risk Assessment. Main interests are in immunotoxicology, doing both research and health risk assessment. My research experience includes both human (birth) cohort studies and experimental studies on how environmental factors/contaminants affect development of immune diseases like asthma/allergies, autoimmunity and immunosuppression. Currently responsible for building up a mass cytometry (CyTOF) platform at FHI, the platform aims to provide expertise in CyTOF applications, experimental design and methodological considerations, data collection on the recently acquired CyTOF instrument, as well as the biostatistical analyses of the large data sets.
About the presentation
High dimensional technologies resolving the great complexity of the human biological responses are needed for efficient identification of mechanisms and causality links, and to provide a link (biomarkers) between advanced in vitro models and human cohort studies. The FHI platform for single cell mass cytometry using CyTOF (Cytometry by Time Of Flight mass spectrometry), permits the simultaneous use of 40-50 metal isotope-tagged antibody specificities (i.e. in theory trillions of marker combinations) in a single tube. Thus, classification of cell subtypes and their activation status, and simultaneous detection of functional markers like intracellular cytokines, signaling pathways and proliferation is possible. This mass cytometry approach is particularly powerful in identifying new combinations of characteristics that are easily overlooked in traditional (supervised) analyses. Combined with data-driven, mathematical algorithms for unsupervised clustering, CyTOF data is a powerful tool to explore and investigate the breadth and depth of your cell system with single cell resolution.
I will shortly introduce the method, and present current and future application areas, illustrated in part by our own data from projects within clinical diagnosis and toxicology.