September 10-13, 2019


Germantown, MD

The Bioscience Education Center


1 Hour Lunch Break

2nd Annual - Expanded to 4 Days

This four day program is divided into a lectures series presented by world class scientists in the field of immuno-oncology, and a hands-on workshop laboratory to explore the optimization and troubleshooting of Opal staining, multispectral image acquisition with Polaris™ scanner, and immunophenotyping analysis using InForm and HALO software.

symposiumSymposium Lecture Series
Days 2 & 3
hands-on labHands-On Laboratory Workshop
*Limited Availability*
Days 1 & 4
thumbnail driveAll attendees receive a thumbnail drive with Lecture PDFs. Day 2&3 attendees will also receive a comprehensive binder containing workshop material.
ci2Symposium Participants: 85
Hands-On Workshop: Limited to 24 Attendees
ci1Symposium and Hands-On Workshop: $995
Symposium Only: $695

Bio-Trac Logo

Cancer immunotherapy represents an ongoing revolution in cancer treatment that requires a deeper understanding of the tumor immunological microenvironment. One of the tools for cancer immunoprofiling on tissues is multiplex immunohistochemistry/immunofluorescence (IF) techniques for the labeling of several markers on the same tissue slide. One of such techniques is the Opal™ method, coupled with Vectra – Polaris™ multispectral scanner, both developed by PerkinElmer, which allows the design of customizable multiplex IF panels for immuno-oncology studies.

Check back soon for our 2019 Speaker Listing

2018 Speakers

Dr. Janis Taube, Keynote
Johns Hopkins Medical Institute
Multiplex Illumination of the Melanoma and Merkel Cell Tumor Microenvironments
Carlo Bifulco, MD
Providence Portland Medical Center
Nicolas Brieu, Ph.D.
Application of Machine Learning on Multiplex IF Multispectral Images
Edwin Parra Cuentas MD, PhD
MD Anderson Cancer Center
Multiplex Immunofluorescence Staining using Tyramide Signal Ampli cation (TSA), Imaging and Image Analysis
Stephen M Hewitt, MD, PhD
Development and Validation of Multiplex IHC Assays / Total Test Paradigm

Cliff Hoyt, MS
Deciphering the biology that drives response to immunotherapy – Phenoptics Update
Lorenz Rognoni, PhD
Automated Multiplex IHC Image Analysis for Immuno- Oncology on Whole Slide Immunofluorescence Multispectral Scans.
Kurt Schalper, MD, PhD
Yale University School of Medicine
Understanding the Immune Composition and Therapeutic Implications of Human Lung Cancer using Spatially Resolved Analysis
Houssein Abdul Sater, MD
Challenges in multiplex Tumor Immune Microenvironment (TIME), Demographic Variation shapes the Tumor Immune Microenvironment (TIME) in NSCLC

Adam Smith
Indica Labs, Inc
Targeting Immuno-oncology Markers in the Tumor Microenvironment using HALO
Jaime Rodriguez-Canales, MD, FEBP
Senior Pathologist MedImmune
Course Director
Michael Surace, PhD
Scientist, MedImmune
Workshop Director

Check back soon for the NEWLY EXPANDED 2019 - 2 DAY WORKSHOP outline.

2018 Outline - 1 Day Program

Session A: 

OPAL Multiplex Immunofluorescence Staining: Considerations and Best Practices

i.   Introduction to OPAL: Staining with Tyramide-Linked Fluors

ii.   OPAL Panel Design: Best Practices

iii.   Automated vs Manual Staining

iv.   Solutions to Common and Uncommon Staining Issues:

1. TSA Blocking

2. Spectral Bleed

3. Inefficient Spectral Unmixing

v.   Validation of Staining and Controls

vi.   Quality Control of Automated Staining

Session B:

PerkinElmer Vectra Polaris: Multispectral Slide Imaging Platform

i.   Introduction to the Vectra Polaris and Workflow

ii.   Scanning Slides and Selecting MSI (Multispectral Imaging) Areas

iii.   Performing Spectral Unmixing with InForm

iv.   Large File Management and Data Considerations

v.   Identification and Parsing of Autofluorescence

vi.   Hands-on: Workshop Participants will Operate Vectra Polaris to Scan, take MSI, and use InForm to Unmix Images

Session C:

HALO Multispectral Image Analysis: Leveraging Marker Colocalization in Segmentation and Analysis

i.   Introduction to HALO and High Plex FL Module

ii.   Image Analysis of 7-Plex: DAPI + PD-L1 + PD-1 + CK + CD8 + CD68 + Ki67

1. Tissue Segmentation: Cytokeratin Mask

2. Cell Segmentation: Nuclear, Cytoplasmic, and Membranous Subcellular

3. Thresholding: Positivity/Negativity in each Subcellular Compartment for Each Marker

iii.   Data Output, Management, and Reporting

Check back soon for our 2019 Speaker Listing

2018 Presenter Bios

Dr. Janis Taube, Keynote, Johns Hopkins Medical Institute

Dr. Janis Taube is an associate professor of dermatology and pathology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a member of the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center. Her area of clinical expertise is dermatopathology. Dr. Taube serves as the Director of the Division of Dermatopathology and as the Assistant Director of the Dermatoimmunology Laboratory at the School of Medicine.
She is one of the lead scientific researchers in the Department of Dermatology at Johns Hopkins. Her research is related to the study of the B7-H1 molecule. Dr. Taube and her team are seeking to identify the signaling mechanisms behind B7-H1 expression.
She is a member of the College of American Pathologists, United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology, American Society of Dermatopathology and Dermatology Foundation.

Nicolas Brieu, PhD, Definiens

Nicolas has more than 10 years’ experience in the field of medical image analysis. His main area of research is in machine and deep learning for computer vision and data mining. He joined Definiens in 2011 and has since been working on the research and development of novel algorithms to automate the analysis of digital pathology images and the identification of immune-related prognostic factors.

Stephen Hewitt, MD, PhD, NIH/NCI

Dr. Hewitt earned his MD at University of Texas Medical School at Houston, and PhD at the University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, completing my thesis in genetics at MD Anderson Cancer Center. He completed my residency in Anatomic Pathlogy in the Laboratory of Pathology, NCI, and is board certified in Anatomic Pathology. Dr Hewitt led the The Tissue Array Research Program (TARP Lab) from 2000-2014 and the Applied Molecular Pathology Laboratory (AMPL), a dual division (CCR and DCEG) effort from 2009 till 2014.
In 2014, Dr. Hewitt initiated the Experimental Pathology Laboratory, within the Laboratory of Pathology. The Experimental Pathology Laboratory (EPL) is focused on translational pathology research. The EPL focuses on collaborative research projects within the Laboratory of Pathology, as well as provides core laboratory support. Areas of expertise within the EPL include: histology, immunohistochemistry, tissue microarray construction and application, micro-dissection technologies, in situ assays for RNA and DNA, whole slide imaging, image analysis and tissue proteomics.
Dr. Hewitt is a member of the Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute Immunology & Ligand Assay Consensus Committee, and serves as co-chair of the Subcommittee on Immunohistochemical Assays and a consultant to the Hematology and Pathology Devices Panel, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Food and Drug Administration as well as co-authored more than 225 articles and servers on the editorial board of four peer-reviewed journals.

Cliff Hoyt, MS, PerkinElmer

Mr. Hoyt runs PerkinElmer’s quantitative pathology applications and services, and supports senior management as a technology strategist in the area of oncology, helping to identify clinical opportunities for the Vectra and Opal platform. This includes establishing and managing collaborations and partnerships with academic and industrial institutions, and managing an applications group on the PerkinElmer Hopkinton site to develop methods. Mr. Hoyt joined PerkinElmer through the acquisition of CRI, Inc., of which he was a founder. Over the course of his career, he has been principle investigator on a number of NIH research grants, and played a key role in the development and commercialization of several innovative technologies and products, including metrology instruments, laser controllers, telecommunications components, imaging systems for in vitro fertilization, and in vivo and pathology imaging systems, which is his main focus today. Mr. Hoyt received a BA in physics from Williams College in 1983 and Master’s in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1987. He is a named inventor on over 20 patents.

Edwin Parra, MD, PhD, MD Anderson Cancer Center

Edwin Parra, MD, PhD, is Assistant Professor and director of the laboratory of multiplex immunofluorescence and image analysis in the Department of Translational Molecular Pathology, at the University of Texas - MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX.  He was trained as research and molecular pathologist with an specialization in lung pathology at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil.  In 2013, Dr. Parra joined Dr. Ignacio Wistuba’s lab at the MD Anderson Cancer Center where he worked setting up multiplex IF using the Vectra -Polaris systems.  Dr. Parra has published over 86 peer-reviewed papers, including several publications employing multiplex IF and Vectra for cancer immunoprofiling.

Jaime Rodriguez-Canales, M.D., MedImmune

Jaime Rodriguez-Canales received his M.D. degree and Anatomic Pathology board certification at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile (Santiago, Chile). Dr. Rodriguez is also certified by the European Board of Pathology (Utrecht, the Netherlands). From 2002 to 2005 he was fellow in oncologic surgical pathology under the direction of Dr. Juan Rosai, in Milan, Italy. From 2005 to 2012, Dr. Rodriguez was postdoc visiting fellow and research fellow at the Pathogenetics Unit and Laser Capture Microdissection (LCM) Core at the Laboratory of Pathology, National Cancer Institute, NIH. In 2012, Dr. Rodriguez joined Dr. Ignacio Wistuba’s lab at the University of Texas – MD Anderson Cancer Center (Houston, TX) being promoted in 2013 to Assistant Professor and Director of the Immunohistochemistry & Digital Pathology lab of the Department of Translational Molecular Pathology, where he and his team worked optimizing multiplex IHC and Vectra for cancer immunoprofiling. In August 2017, Dr. Rodriguez moved back to Maryland as Senior Pathologist at MedImmune, where he continues to work on multiplex IHC and Vectra - Polaris for immuno-oncology. Dr. Rodriguez has co-authored over 125 peer-reviewed papers, including a study on validation of multiplex IF and multispectral analysis for cancer immunoprofiling (Sci Rep. 2017). Dr. Rodriguez is member of the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology (USCAP), American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and the Society for Cancer Immunotherapy (SITC).

Lorenz Rognoni, PhD, Definiens

Dr. Lorenz Rognoni works as a Senior Consultant Datafication at Definiens, The Tissue Phenomics Company.
Dr. Rognoni joined Definiens in 2015 and is currently leading the development of multiplex IHC image analysis (bright field and multispectral immunofluorescence) used in service projects. Before working in the field of digital pathology, he studied physics at the FU Berlin and LMU Munich and specialized in biophysics during his Ph.D. and postdoctoral research at TU Munich.

Houssein Abdul Sater, MD, NIH/NCI

After graduating from the Lebanese University Faculty of Medical Sciences and training for 2 years in surgical pathology, Dr Sater was awarded a Fosfom 2 year scholarship in onco-pathology at the Free University of Brussels (ULB), Belgium. He then trained in the US and graduated as a hematologist-oncologist from the Medical College of Georgia. His research involved work on post translational modifications of FOXP3 protein and more recently focused on identifying clinically relevant biomarkers through multiplex IHC platforms. He joined the National Institute of Health through Leidos in late 2017 to lead the GU malignancies branch immune correlative studies. He has published some of his work in lung, and breast cancer with ongoing work on neoadjuvant prostate cancer.

Kurt Schalper, MD, PhD, Yale University School of Medicine

Dr. Schalper trained as cell/molecular biologist and surgical pathologist. His professional experience includes molecular diagnostics and measurement of tissue biomarkers for companion diagnostics in cancer. Currently, he is an Assistant Professor of Pathology at Yale University and director of the Translational Immuno-oncology Laboratory at the Yale Cancer Center. His group aims to produce and support high quality translational research in immuno-oncology through standardized analyses of biomarkers and cross-integration with other Yale resources. These efforts could open new opportunities for biomarker discovery, identification of targets and patient selection for novel anti-cancer therapies.

Adam Smith, Indica Labs, Inc.

Adam specializes in digital pathology and image analysis workflows. He received his bachelor’s in Biology from Ursinus College, and honed his skills in histology and digital pathology at Merck & Co., Inc. Adam currently works as the North American Strategic Accounts Manager for Indica Labs, Inc. where he is passionate about using creative problem solving to provide image analysis solutions to his customers.

Michael Surace, PhD, MedImmune

Michael Surace received a BS in Biology from JMU in 2004 before working as a laboratory technician in Pathology at UVA for two years. In 2006 he moved to Blacksburg, VA to pursue graduate studies in nuclear receptor/ TLR cell signaling crosstalk in the polarization of macrophage activation phenotypes. He received his PhD from Virginia Tech in 2010. He took two postdocs at MCV in Richmond, first in the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology investigating the role of microglial activation in response to toxic insult in Parkinson’s Disease, then in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, working on astrocytes as inflammatory immune cells in multiple sclerosis. In 2015 he joined STCube Pharmaceuticals as a research scientist where he started working with multiplex immunofluorescesce and image analysis to support mechanistic research, which led to his current position at Medimmune, as a scientist developing the company’s multiplex immunofluorescence program for research and clinical trials.

The Bioscience Education Center

Montgomery College
20200 Observation Drive
Germantown, MD 20876