Over the past decade, OICR’s laboratories have procured state-of-the-art equipment and developed leading-edge technologies to help answer pressing cancer research questions. The effective and proper use of advanced laboratory tools is dependent on specialized knowledge and skills on the part of the operator. OICR’s platform for laboratory training, BioLab, is ensuring that Ontario’s cancer researchers have the knowledge they need to explore the full potential of some of the province’s most advanced cancer research equipment.
“BioLab’s mission is to provide continuous education for the next generation of Ontario cancer researchers using advanced technologies, applications and instrumentation,” says Dr. Vanya Peltekova, Lead, BioLab Operations. “We provide seminars, workshops and assistance with assay and experimental design.”
Instructors and lecturers who lead BioLab workshops and seminars are scientists with extensive experience in translational cancer research. In early June, BioLab hosted Dr. Scott Bratman, Scientist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, who spoke about a new non-invasive liquid biopsy technology that can effectively detect cancer at earlier stages than currently possible.
“Future innovations in cancer depend on the next generation of researchers,” says Bratman. “I strongly support BioLab in their pursuit to equip these researchers with the knowledge and laboratory skills they need to effectively drive their research discoveries.”
BioLab’s 2018 seminars and workshops cover a diverse range of topics, with a particular focus on immuno-oncology across five key areas: liquid biopsy and technologies for biomolecule detection, cell imaging, flow cytometry for single cell -omics, visualization and quantification of cancer transcriptome, and digital pathology.
Over the past two years, BioLab has hosted more than 50 seminars and training sessions with more than 550 attendees. As in previous years, BioLab’s educational offerings are free for researchers who work at academic institutions and hospitals in Ontario. BioLab welcomes users of any level of lab experience and expertise including clinicians, scientists, fellows, interns, students and research staff.