OCT 22, 2020

Virology and Infectious Disease Virtual Conference

Infectious disease research leads to the development of critical solutions to address past, present, and future infectious outbreaks— from revealing mechanism of host-pathogen effects and innate immune response, to more applied translational research on vaccine development and immune system function and autoimmune disease.

This live virtual event will showcase presentations by leading scientists from notable institutions around the world, sharing their research on infectious disease. Agilent, and BioTek, the newest member of the Agilent family, will be showcasing their latest innovations in cell analysis for infectious disease research. Product experts from both companies will also be available to answer questions.

Discover how leading researchers worldwide are conducting novel research on infectious disease, and how Agilent provides key technologies to advance therapeutic opportunities relating to viral and microbial infection:

  • Track virus-induced cytopathic effects in real-time, greatly reduce workload and manual handling of samples with the xCELLigence real-time cell analysis (RTCA) platform.
  • Seahorse XF technology measures the two major metabolic pathways, glycolysis and mitochondrial respiration, for live cells in real time, providing a critical systems-level view for host-pathogen interaction and innate immune response to infection, and providing insight into potential therapeutic targets.     
  • Novocyte flow cytometers provide robust, sensitive and automated quantitative assays relevant to infectious disease research such as immunophenotyping, bacterial cell counting and viability.
  • Soluble Metabolic Sensors MitoXpress & pH-Xtra Products provide a high throughput, mix-and-measure, plate reader assessment of mitochondrial function and cell metabolism for investigating microbial metabolism, screening for antimicrobial compounds, as well as Anti-parasitic drug screening and drug target discovery.
  • Conduct detailed analysis of cellular immune response, characterize cytopathic mechanisms, and measure viral titration—including automated CPE, viral plaque, and TCID50 assays—using kinetic live cell imaging and powerful image analysis tools with the Cytation Imaging Multi-Mode Reader and Lionheart FX Automated Microscope.
  • Utilize efficient plate reader-based assays for viral detection, microbiology growth studies and evaluating humoral response with BioTek plate readers, including the Synergy Neo2.
  • Improve assay reproducibility and increase sample throughput by incorporating BioTek liquid handlers and robotics platforms into common virology and microbiology workflows.

For Research Use Only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.


Show Resources

For Research Use Only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures. 


  • OCT 22, 2020 4:00 PM EDT
    Real-time antiviral drug screening, characterization, and safety assessment using the xCELLigence RTCA line of instruments
    Xiaoyu Zhang, PhD
    Senior Research Scientist, Agilent Technologies
    Brandon Lamarche, PhD
    Principal Scientist, Agilent Technologies
  • Targeting host metabolism in respiratory viral infections
    OCT 22, 2020 2:30 PM EDT
    Targeting host metabolism in respiratory viral infections
    Heather Smallwood, PhD
    Assistant Professor, University of Tennessee Health Science Center
  • OCT 22, 2020 1:00 PM EDT
    Exploring host-directed therapeutic targets for Mycobacterium tuberculosis: New perspectives from South Africa
    Shannon Russell, PhD
    Former Postdoctoral Fellow under Dr. Adrie Steyn at the...
    Adrie JC Steyn, PhD
    Investigator, Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI),...
  • OCT 22, 2020 11:30 AM EDT
    Kinase inhibitor modulation of endothelial barrier properties
    Selasi Dankwa, Ph.D.
    Postdoctoral Scientist, Seattle Children's Research Institute
  • OCT 22, 2020 10:00 AM EDT
    MIMETAS and BioTek Instruments: A Toolbox to Dissect the Vascular Impact of COVID-19
    Kristin Bircsak, PhD
    Principal Scientist, MIMETAS
    Kristen N. Peters Olson, Ph.D. (Molecular Microbiology and Immunology)
    Imaging Specialist, Field Applications Scientist, BioTe...
  • OCT 22, 2020 8:30 AM EDT
    Identification of antiviral compounds against equid herpesvirus-1 using RTCA screening
    Côme Thieulent
    PhD Student, LABEO Frank Duncombe EA7450 BIOTARGEN, Un...
    Stéphane Pronost, MSc, PhD, HDR
    Deputy Director, R&D Department, LABEO Frank Duncombe
    Gabrielle Sutton
    Ph.D. student, LABEO Frank Duncombe
  • Kinase inhibitor modulation of endothelial barrier properties
  • OCT 22, 2020 11:30 AM EDT
    Kinase inhibitor modulation of endothelial barrier properties
    Selasi Dankwa, Ph.D.
    Postdoctoral Scientist, Seattle Children's Research Institute

  • Kristin Bircsak, PhD
    Principal Scientist, MIMETAS

      Kristin Bircsak is a Principal Scientist with MIMETAS, The Organ-on-a-Chip Company in Gaithersburg, Maryland. In 2016, she received her Ph.D. in Toxicology from Rutgers University following which she completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania. In her training, Kristin utilized various model system to characterize the negative impact of drugs and environmental chemicals on reproduction and development. In her role at MIMETAS, Kristin drives the development of innovative 3D in vitro organotypic models and assays. Her research is centered on recapitulating the liver and prostate tumor microenvironment to aid in the accurate prediction of safe and effective candidate compounds. 

    • Selasi Dankwa, PhD
      Postdoctoral Scientist, Seattle Children's Research Institute

        Dr. Dankwa obtained her Ph.D. in Biological Sciences in Public Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Her doctoral research focused on the invasion of erythrocytes by malaria parasites, the first step in the establishment of malaria infection. Her studies identified a key pathway that restricts red blood cell invasion by Plasmodium knowlesi, a malaria parasite that naturally infects macaques but has caused outbreaks of human infections in Southeast Asia. Her findings help to understand zoonotic infections by P. knowlesi. She is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at Seattle Children’s Research Institute, Center for Global Infectious Disease Research and a recipient of an American Heart Association (AHA) Postdoctoral Fellowship. Her work uncovered a potential mechanism by which binding of malaria parasites to blood vessels can disrupt the blood-brain barrier, resulting in brain swelling. Her current work aims to investigate the utility of kinase inhibitors in repairing a leaky blood-brain barrier as well as elucidating endothelial barrier dysfunction in cerebral malaria.

      • Stéphane Pronost, MSc, PhD, HDR
        Deputy Director, R&D Department, LABEO Frank Duncombe

          Stéphane Pronost began his researcher's career in 1990 at the University of Caen (France) within the Laboratory of Biochemistry of Connective Tissue, developing molecular tools for cytokine expression studies in humans. He joined the Frank Duncombe Laboratory (France) with the mission of building up a R&D service in 1995. After having set-up PCR assays in different animal species, he focused on equine viral diseases and more lately on herpesvirus, equine arteritis equine influenza and Hepacivirus. His recent works concern EHV-1 and the different expression forms of its pathology, specifically EHV-1-associated myeloencephalopathy. His team has developed different study models for equine herpesviruses which have led recently to the isolation of a new strain of EHV-1 and the implementation of a screening protocol for antiviral molecules, based on RTCA technology. Since 2018 he manages the Impedancell Platform in a BSL-2 confinement (LABEO site, Impedancell Real-Time Cellular Activity - ).
          Dr Pronost gets involved in numerous training sessions on molecular biology since 1993 in the University of Caen and is furthermore an expert of the AFNOR group (French Agency for Standardisation) for PCR methods in Animal Health.). He has also been an auditor for the French Accreditation Committee (COFRAC) in molecular biology (animal health) since 2014.

        • Heather Smallwood, PhD
          Assistant Professor, University of Tennessee Health Science Center

            Heather is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and the Institute for the Study of Host-Pathogen Systems at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. She is a cell biologist trained in biochemistry and infectious disease. She received her doctorate of philosophy in Biochemistry and Applied Environmental Toxicology through the University of Washington-Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Distinguished Graduate Research Program.

            She did her postdoctoral training in immunology and virology under Drs Peter Doherty and Paul Thomas at St Jude Children's Research Hospital. Her current research focuses on defining the role of metabolism in respiratory viral infection and its regulation to identify meta-biomarkers for risk assessment and therapeutic targeting.

          • Côme Thieulent
            PhD student, LABEO Frank Duncombe

              Côme Thieulent obtained his master's degree in science in 2016 from the University of Caen Normandie (France). Then he worked for a year at the Frank Duncombe laboratory (France) as an engineer and started working with RTCA technologies. Since 2017 Côme has been a doctoral student at the University of Caen (France) and works at the Frank Duncombe laboratory (France). He is currently in the last year of his doctorate. He uses xCELLigence technology throughout his doctoral work to identify new antiviral compounds to fight equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1). He had the opportunity to stay in the Dr Hans Nauwynck laboratory at the University of Ghent (Belgium) in order to develop innovative cell models for the study of EHV-1.

            • Brandon Lamarche, PhD
              Principal Scientist, Agilent Technologies

                Brandon Lamarche received his Ph.D. in chemistry from Ohio State University, where his research focused on the chemistry and enzymology of DNA damage and repair, seeking to understand the ways in which organisms strike a balance between these two opposing processes to maintain their fitness, fuel their evolution, and defend themselves against pathogens.  He subsequently worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Salk Institute where he studied the biochemistry of DNA double strand break (DSB) repair, with particular emphasis on the type of DSBs generated by cancer chemotherapeutics.  He now works as a principal scientist at Agilent Technologies where he focuses on developing real-time cell analysis applications using the xCELLigence platform. Currently, his two primary fields of interest are cancer immunotherapy and infectious diseases.

              • Kristen N. Peters Olson, PhD
                Imaging Specialist, Field Applications Scientist, BioTek Instruments, Now a Part of Agilent

                  Kristen N. Peters Olson, Ph.D. is an Imaging Specialist and Field Applications Scientist for BioTek Instruments in the Greater Boston Area.  She received her Ph.D. in Molecular Microbiology and Immunology and Pathobiology from the University of Missouri in 2012.  Her dissertation focused on the Yersinia pestis effector protein, YopK, in modulating cell death modality during pneumonic plague.  This in vivo infection model focused on the lung immune response to pneumonic plague and was performed in BSL3 conditions at the University of Missouri Laboratory for Infectious Disease Research.  In her postdoctoral position at University of Massachusetts Medical School, she studied efferocytosis and its impact on the innate and adaptive immune response in the lung during tuberculosis.  To broaden her infectious disease expertise, she accepted a postdoctoral position at the National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories at Boston University, focused on Ebola, Marburg, and Lassa viruses.  There, she collaborated with academic colleagues and industry leaders to develop a no-wash diagnostic assay based on SERS technology for the detection of hemorrhagic fever viruses in the field.  With the onset of the Zika epidemic, she shifted her focus to Zika virus and developed a novel human placental explant model of infection to understand the cellular tropism, host response, and how the virus causes such severe impact to the developing fetus.  This diverse background focusing on host-pathogen interaction in multiple disease models using a variety of assays prepared her for her current position.  As an Imaging Specialist for BioTek Instruments, she assists researchers in learning automated imaging technology, developing protocols to best suit their needs, and providing suggestions to improve their research.  

                • Xiaoyu Zhang, PhD
                  Senior Research Scientist, Agilent Technologies

                    Xiaoyu Zhang attained her Ph.D. in Cell Molecular and Development Biology from the University of California, Riverside, and received postdoctoral training at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute. Dr. Zhang is currently the senior research scientist at Agilent Technologies specializing in the development of applications for xCELLigence RTCA Cardio related instruments, leading cardiac safety screening programs and providing technical support for RTCA Cardio related systems.

                  • Shannon Russell, PhD
                    Former Postdoctoral Fellow under Dr. Adrie Steyn at the Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI) in Durban, South Africa Currently a Research Associate, British Columbia Center for Disease

                      Shannon completed her PhD in Dr. Brett Finlay’s lab at the University of British Columbia in 2014. Her PhD work focused on examining the role of antibiotic use in early life, its impact on the gastrointestinal microbiome and how gut microbes affect susceptibility to gut and lung inflammatory diseases. In 2015, Shannon moved to South Africa to do a postdoc with Dr. Adrie Steyn in TB research at the Wellcome Trust-funded Africa Health Research Institute in Durban. Shannon currently works at the British Columbia Center for Disease Control as a Research Associate where she is involved in a variety of applied genomics projects that improve outbreak surveillance in the province, including integrating SARS-CoV-2 genomics into BC’s COVID-19 public health response. 

                    • Adrie JC Steyn, PhD
                      Investigator, Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI), Durban, South Africa, Professor of Microbiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), AL, USA
                    • Gabrielle Sutton
                      Ph.D. student, LABEO Frank Duncombe

                        Gabrielle Sutton graduated from her MsC degree in Microbiology in 2013 at the University of Caen Normandy (Caen, France). She then took a position at LABEO (Caen, France) in 2014 as a lab technician in the analytical Virology department. In 2018, she started a PhD in Virology at LABEO and worked on the equine herpesvirus 1 (EHV-1).  The first part of this PhD consisted in the molecular characterisation of the equine EHV-1 genome using three tools, which are: the qPCR typing of a widely described mutation in position 2254 of the viral DNA polymerase gene (ORF30), the complete ORF30 sequencing and the Multi Locus Sequence Typing tool. She had the opportunity to learn about this last tool under Ann Cullinane and Marie Garvey supervision at the Irish Equine Centre (IEC, Naas, Ireland). This allowed her to perform a phylogenic analysis of strains collected in France during the last decade. The second part of her PhD consisted in the study of the immune response of horses exposed to vaccination against EHV-1 or natural infection. This part implied in vitro virus culture and a neutralisation assay using the xCELLigence technology (ACEA, Agilent, CA, USA). She also had the opportunity to spend two weeks under Simon Scott and Cecilia Di-Genova supervision in the Pseudotype Virus Unit (Medway School of Pharmacy, University of Kent, Chatham, UK)

                      About Us

                      Agilent is a global leader in life science, diagnostics, and analytical laboratory technologies. Now growing in the cell analysis space, Agilent instruments, software, services, solutions, and people provide trusted answers to our customers' most challenging questions.

                      What started as a unique offering of solutions focused on understanding cellular functionality based on underlying metabolic programming has transformed into a set of innovative tools with the additions of ACEA Biosciences and BioTek Instruments – providing customers the tools they need to uncover unique cell biology, discover novel drug targets, improve preclinical in vitro toxicology, and pioneer the next generation of immunotherapies.

                      Explore a breadth of solutions in real-time, impedance-based analysis of cell function, real-time cell metabolism, cell imaging and microscopy, microplate readers, microplate washers, flow cytometers, and more.


                      For Research Use Only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.


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