SEP 28, 2016 09:00 AM PDT

Signatures of protective NK cell responses

SPONSORED BY: Fluidigm, Fluidigm
8 39 3617

  • Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine and Immunology, Stanford University School of Medicine and Assistant Director of the Stanford Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP)
      Catherine Blish, MD, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Immunology at the Stanford University School of Medicine and an Assistant Director of the Stanford Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP). After receiving a BS in Biochemistry with Highest Honors from the University of California, Davis, she matriculated in the MSTP at the University of Washington School of Medicine, receiving her MD and a PhD in Immunology. She completed residency in Internal Medicine and pursued a fellowship in Infectious Disease at the University of Washington, with a research focus on immune correlates of HIV-1 infection. Her current research aims to understand the successes and failures of the immune system in order to better harness it to prevent infections. Her lab is perhaps best known for redefining our understanding of the diversity of human natural killer (NK) cells, a critical first line of defense against viruses and tumors. She has received numerous awards for research and mentoring, including the Stanford Immunology Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award, the ICAAC Young Investigator Award from the American Society for Microbiology, the Beckman Young Investigator Award, the McCormick Faculty Award, the Baxter Faculty Scholar, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Clinical Scientist Development Award, the Tashia and John Morgridge Faculty Scholar in Pediatric Translational Medicine, the NIH Director's New Innovator Award, and was elected a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation.
    • Field Applications Scientist, Fluidigm
        Michelle Poulin earned her B.A. from Smith College and her Ph.D. in Immunology from the University of Colorado Denver. After completing a post-doctoral fellowship at National Jewish Health in 2003, Michelle joined BD Biosciences as an instructor in the Customer Education department. In 2012, Michelle joined DVS Sciences as a field applications scientist (FAS) and became manager of the North American FAS team shortly after DVS was acquired by Fluidigm in 2014.

      DATE:  September 28, 2016
      TIME:   9:00am Pacific time, 12:00pm Eastern time

      NK cells play critical roles in immune defense and reproduction but remain the most poorly understood major lymphocyte population. NK (natural killer) cells contribute to control of chronic HIV infection, yet their role in protection from infection and potential for eradication strategies is less clear. NK cell activation is controlled by a variety of combinatorially expressed activating and inhibitory receptors, making NK cell diversity and function closely linked.

      Using mass cytometry, Catherine Blish and colleagues at Stanford recently defined the human NK cell repertoire as remarkably diverse, with an estimated 6,000 to 30,000 phenotypic populations within an individual and >100,000 phenotypes in a small population. Blish will present this data, including additional studies revealing that immune experience diversifies and specializes the NK cell repertoire, and that high NK diversity is associated with increased risk of HIV-1 acquisition in a Kenyan cohort. Overall, these studies suggest that NK diversity may decrease the flexibility of the antiviral response, and that human NK diversity is a previously undefined metric of immune history and function that may be clinically useful in predicting the outcomes of viral exposure.

      Michelle Poulin from Fluidigm will also present a brief overview of mass cytometry, describing the basic principles and workflow of the technology, including recent advancements. Mass cytometry uniquely enables high-dimensional single-cell proteomic analysis for system‑level discovery and comprehensive functional profiling applications. The large 40‑plus‑marker proteomic panels routinely analyzed using mass cytometry provide simultaneous measurement of the breadth of cell types and the depth of their functions in a single tube.

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