Rui Gardner, Gulbenkian Institute, Portugal
Rui Gardner’s scientific career began just before graduating in Biochemistry in 1997, as a trainee in mathematical biology. This set the ground for his doctoral work, a mathematical approach to understand the prooxidative mechanisms of superoxide dismutase, paradoxically known as one of the most powerful physiological antioxidant enzymes. Most of the work was carried out in the department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Michigan, but also at the University of Southern California and the Gulbenkian Institute of Science in Portugal. In 2004, Rui earned his PhD in Biomedical Sciences, followed by postdoctoral work on evaluating immune diversity estimation techniques, still at the Gulbenkian Institute, where in the end of 2006 he became SRL Manager of the Flow Cytometry facility, job he still holds. Since 2007, Rui has been actively involved with ISAC’s SRL Task Force, and in 2012 was elected for ISAC’s Council, currently chairing the ISAC SRL Oversight Committee responsible for implementing and improving ISAC’s SRL-related activities and programs. In the last years, Rui has focused his efforts in addressing cell sorting performance based on the almost 10-year long experience running a cell sorting facility, as well as promoting meetings and discussions within the SRL community to help improve facility operations and management.
In the first of a series of webinars addressing strategies to optimize operations and management in a Shared Resource Lab (SRL) we’ll focus on enhancing cell sorting capacity. Many sorting facilities struggle with the increased demand in usage. The typically limited installed capacity of droplet cell sorters, which is directly associated to the requirement of a dedicated operator, usually leads to a narrow range of solutions to increase this capacity. Strategies are most often reduced to buying a new instrument, implying an increase in the number of FTEs or most likely increasing dramatically the burden of the current FTE, inevitably decreasing quality or SRL performance. With the advent of the new and more automated cell sorters, different and more creative solutions to increase cell sorting capacity are being addressed, including self-service sorting with all the implications associated to it. We’ll discuss several of these strategies, and present additional approaches to optimize usage of the current instrumentation, independent of their level of automation. These may include small technical implementations to reduce instrument setup, instrument troubleshooting guides, booking strategies to optimize resource usage, staggering shifts or “on call” staff to assist sorts that cannot be scheduled within normal sorting hours. There is no general strategy that will fit all facilities as some of these approaches may even collide with institutional or country-specific policies. Nevertheless, our aim is to lay down some of the possible strategies, open a discussion towards addressing this issue in a systematic way, and hopefully inspire new creative solutions from peers.
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.