Special Plenary Session 2: CYTO Women

CYTO Women was conceived by an engaged group of women at CYTO 2019 and seeks to address the involvement of women in ISAC, with encouragement and support, so that women from all constituencies play an active role on committees and programs, as well as in leadership positions within ISAC and across the field of cytometry. This inaugural session is a fireside chat where we discuss the challenges. Since the dawn of the modern women’s movement, women have trained and worked to achieve parity in the workplace. Through all of the different phases and efforts, we have yet to achieve this and the trajectory for real progress continues at a slow pace. The lack of equity in the workplace is often attributed to women needing to change how they are doing things, making us feel responsible. Women are told to lean in to overcome barriers, but this is not sufficient and does not fix what is broken. Something else is needed. The problem is not the training of women. To address bias, we need to shift the focus from individuals to ways of imparting institutional change. Creating an inclusive workplace will require a focus on changing the conversation. This takes courage, commitment and compassion to embrace disruption and instigate systemic transformation. 

At the end of this session there will be an additional networking session.

Agenda and Speakers

Session Moderators
Rachel Errington, PhD, Director of Cancer and Genetics at the School of Medicine, Cardiff University
Virginia Litwin, PhD, Strategic Advisor, Caprion Biosciences

CYTO Women: From Concept to Reality
Jonni Moore, PhD, Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine; Faculty Director, Abramson Cancer Center Flow Cytometry and Cell Sorting Shared Resource Laboratory; Executive Director, PathBioresource, Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania

Are We Still Leaving Women Behind? Wasn’t it Supposed to be Better by Now?
Alice Till, PhD, Vice President, Science Policy and Technical Affairs (Retired), Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA)
Janet Walkow, PhD, Professor, Executive Director and CTO, Drug Dynamics Institute, University of Texas at Austin

CYTO Women: Future Plans
Jessica P. Houston, PhD, Associate Professor of Chemical & Materials Engineering, New Mexico State University

Rachel Errington, PhD (Moderator)

Director of Cancer and Genetics at the School of Medicine, Cardiff University

At Cardiff University, Rachel leads an inter-disciplinary R&D programme. A cell biologist and microscopist by trade, she leads a team that focuses on the biophysics of cancer. RJE is chair of the Tissue MicroEnvironment Group (TMEG), whose vision is to foster creative collaborations between engineering, the physical sciences and clinicians through focused research funding to realise these in clinical settings for the benefit of the patient. Currently, TMEG focuses on the cellular-molecular dynamics of prostate, lung and bone tumour microenvironment. Including the incorporation of biomechanical, physiological and immune infiltration influences. We are developing new IP for the identification of potential diagnostic biomarkers using extracellular vesicle liquid biopsies and, most recently, new theranostics targeting the colon.

Virginia Litwin, PhD (Moderator)

Strategic Consultant, Caprion Biosciences

Virginia Litwin, PhD is a thought-leader in analytical method validation and standardization for flow cytometry. Bringing “Cytometry from Bench-to-Bedside” has been the focus of her professional activities since 1999 when she started working in translational medicine at Bristol-Myers Squibb. She is the chair of the Document Development Committee for a new Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) Guideline, H62- Validation of Assays Performed by Flow Cytometry. She is a councilor for both the International Society for the Advancement of Cytometry (ISAC) and the International Clinical Cytometry Society (ICCS). In addition, she serves on the ICCS Advocacy Committee whose mission is to interface with regulatory agencies.

Jessica P. Houston, PhD

Associate Professor of Chemical & Materials Engineering, New Mexico State University

Dr. Jessica P. Houston is an Associate Professor of Chemical & Materials Engineering at New Mexico State University (NMSU) in Las Cruces, NM. At NMSU, Dr. Houston is PI of the Laboratory for Flow Cytometry and Related Biophotonics (https://dept-wp.nmsu.edu/flowcytometry/), which is supported by NIH project: R01GM129859 (2018-2022). The research she directs include flow cytometry instrument optimization, fluorescence dynamics, high-throughput systems, optofluidics, and fluorescence bioprobes. Dr. Houston has been at NMSU since 2009 where she first began her career in academia as an Assistant Professor. She came to NMSU after completing a 3-year Director’s Postdoctoral Fellowship within the Bioscience Division at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM (2006-2009). Her early training also included a Research Associate appointment at the Baylor College of Medicine, Department of Radiology in the Houston Texas Medical Center (2005-2006). Prior to this she received her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Texas A&M University, College Station, TX (2000-2005). Dr. Houston provides service to a variety of scientific societies, boards, and advisory councils. She is Treasurer of ISAC, Chair of ISAC's Finance committee, and serves on several other ISAC committees. Additionally, Dr. Houston is Chair, of Science & Innovation-10 subcommittee for the CLEO Laser Science to Photonic Applications Conference Program. Dr. Houston is a regular panel member to NSF and NIH owing to her international leadership in cytometry instrumentation research. Her scientific endeavors have been presented in over 200 abstracts, 40 publications, and 25 invited talks. She holds a patent on lifetime measurements with cytometry and as a faculty member teaches fluid mechanics, biomedical engineering, process control and dynamics. In 2018 Dr. Houston became a Faculty Fulbright Scholar and lived for 6 months in Saitama-shi Japan, where she worked at Saitama University on research in fluorescence bioprobe development. 

Jonni Moore, PhD

Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine; Faculty Director, Abramson Cancer Center Flow Cytometry and Cell Sorting Shared Resource Laboratory; Executive Director, PathBioresource, Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania

Jonni Moore, Ph.D. is a Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Scientific Director of the Abramson Cancer Center Flow Cytometry and Cell Sorting Shared Resource, and Emeritus Director, Founder, and currently Senior Advisor of the Clinical Flow Cytometry Laboratory at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. She is currently the President of ISAC.  She received her PhD from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia in Microbiology and completed a postdoc with Peter Nowell, MD at the University of Pennsylvania.

Alice Till, PhD

VP of Science Policy and Technical Affairs (Retired), Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America

Alice retired in 2014 as Vice President, Science Policy and Technical affairs, for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) where she coordinated the association’s activities related to all science and regulatory aspects of pharmaceutical development and operations.  Prior to joining PhRMA, Alice served as President for the Generic Pharmaceutical Industry Association (GPIA), following two years as GPIA Vice President, Scientific Affairs.  Prior to GPIA, she worked for Merck & Co. for 21 years, holding various positions in Pharmaceutical R&D, Drug Metabolism, Clinical Research, and Clinical Development for International Marketing.  She earned a B.Sc. in Pharmacy/M.Sc. in Pharmaceutics from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy & Science (1966/1969), a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Chemistry (UCSF 1979), and an MBA in Industrial Relations and Organizational Behavior (Temple University 1985).  She is a charter member and Fellow of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS), serving in numerous leadership roles for 30+ years, including the elected role of President.  She recently served for several months, on a volunteer basis, as AAPS Interim Executive Director.

Janet Walkow, PhD

Professor, Executive Director and CTO, Drug Dynamics Institute, Univ. of Texas at Austin

Janet joined The University of Texas in 2008, building on a successful pharmaceutical industry career, leading efforts ranging from R&D and Human Resources to Global Corporate Strategy. Leading the Drug Dynamic Institute, Janet brings novel approaches and solutions that promote development of technologies, facilitate bioscience startups, and cultivate interdisciplinary technology readiness. Janet is known in academic circles for developing cutting-edge ways and engaging educational tools. Her successful edX MOOC, Take Your Medicine, has enrolled tens of thousands of students, who explore how new drug therapies are developed. A leader in efforts to empower entrepreneurs and women, Janet’s involvement in local and global innovation efforts include the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, Texas Venture Labs, and the Cockrell School of Engineering’s Innovation Center. Janet serves as one of UT’s Public Voices Fellow with the OpEd Project and her recent Board service includes the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders, the Health Promotion Council, and Harvard Kennedy School Women’s Leadership Board.

CMLE Credit: 1.5

Components visible upon registration.

NOTE: This event is held in Eastern Daylight time (GMT-4)