RNA Flow Cytometry by Steven McClellan and Paul Wallace

Steve McClellanSteven McClellan, Flow Cytometry Core Laboratory, Mitchell Cancer Institute, University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL.

Steve McClellan, BS, MT(ASCP) is a life science professional with over 25 years of expertise in advanced flow cytometry & cell sorting, as well as basic and clinical research in the areas of cancer biology, stem cell therapy, transplant immunology and xenotransplantation. He is currently Manager of Basic & Translational Research Operations at the University of South Alabama Mitchell Cancer Institute, where he also serves as Chief, Flow Cytometry & Imaging Core Laboratories. For the past seven years, his lab has been conducting research on cancer stem cells; working to develop better methods of purification, culture and analysis at both genetic and functional levels, as well as using cancer stem cells in HTS drug discovery.


Paul WallacePaul K. Wallace, Department of Flow & Image Cytometry, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY

Paul K. Wallace, PhD has served since 2003 as Director of the Flow and Image Cytometry Department and is Professor of Oncology at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) in Buffalo, NY. He is also Associate Professor of Microbiology & Immunology, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH and Associate Professor of Biotechnical and Clinical Laboratory Sciences, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY. He is President elect of the International Society for Advancement of Cytometry and a Councilor of the International Clinical Cytometry Society.

Under his direction, the Flow and Image Cytometry Department at RPCI offers a strong combination of clinical and research missions.  The department’s clinical emphasis is on the diagnosis and monitoring of patients with leukemia and lymphoma.  In addition, it serves as a core reference facility performing immunophenotyping and immune monitoring studies on samples from patients enrolled in clinical trials for several biotech and grant-funded organizations.  The department’s research focus is on myeloid cell biology and translational research utilizing flow cytometry.

Before joining RPCI, Dr. Wallace was an Assistant Professor of Immunology at Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover NH (1993-2003), a cofounder of Zynaxis Cell Science, Inc., Malvern PA (1988-1991), and the Supervisor of Flow Cytometry at SmithKline (now Quest) Clinical Laboratories King of Prussia, PA (SKCL; 1979-1988).  He is internationally recognized for his commitment to flow cytometric education and has been a member of ISAC’s Educational Task Force/Committee since its inception in 2006 and of the ICCS Education committee since 2003. He is a consultant with ASCP and CDC’s PETFAR (U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief), for which he has developed and presented CD4 training programs in Nigeria, India, Mozambique and Vietnam. Since 1994 he has also been on the faculty of the Bowdoin/New Mexico Annual Course in Methods and Applications of Cytometry.


Webinar Summary: 

Flow cytometry permits the simultaneous measurements of many biomarkers in individual cells from bulk populations. Until now analysis has been limited, however to primarily analysis of proteins and total DNA or highly abundant DNA sequences. Since most RNA gene transcripts are present at very low quantities our ability to detect these mRNA species by flow cytometry has been limited. In 1993, Patterson et. al. (Science, 1993. 260:976) used a PCR driven in situ hybridization technique to detect HIV mRNA in infected cells, however the stringent conditions required by this technique prevented its wide spread application to and development for flow cytometry. Two new techniques, PrimeFlowTM (Affymetrix/eBioscience) and SmartFlareTM (EMD Millipore) have recently been commercially introduced and are seeing increasing use among research scientists.

The PrimeFlow RNA assay system allows for the determination of differential RNA expression within a mixed population of cells. The assay improves sensitivity and lowers background of fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) through the use of a branched DNA signal amplification. In contrast, the SmartFlareTM system employs a gold nanoparticle that is actively endocytosed into most cell types. In the cytoplasm, interaction with the specific mRNA target causes the generation of a fluorescent signal, which can be detected by flow cytometry or microscopy. Protocols and data will be presented showing the usefulness of both systems. By the end of the webinar, participants should have an understanding of which technique is most appropriate for their applications; how to apply them to their research and most importantly gain an understanding of the pitfalls and solutions from individuals who have learned these the hard way.

This continuing medical laboratory education activity is recognized by the American Society for Clinical Pathology for 1 CMLE credit. ASCP CMLE credits are acceptable for the ASCP Board of Registry Certification Maintenance Program.

Seminar Information
Date Presented:
August 26, 2015 12:00 PM Eastern
1 hour
RNA Flow Cytometry by Steven McClellan and Paul Wallace
Individual topic purchase: Selected
American Society for Clinical Pathology
CMLE: 1.00
ISAC Member Price: $0.00
Non-Member Price:$0.00