BioLab: learning, training and connecting

BioLab Lead image

BioLab at OICR manages state-of-art equipment for translational cancer research and offers free educational seminars, advanced technology workshops and hands-on instrument training sessions led by instrument application specialists.

The mission of BioLab is to provide continuous education and training for the next generation of Ontario cancer researchers using existing and advanced cancer-related technologies, applications, tools and instrumentation.

BioLab Provides

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BioLab goes beyond basic theory and training to provide application-driven experiences. BioLab training explores the full potential of state-of-art cancer research equipment from experimental design, through correct equipment usage and even covers project-driven applications.

The training sessions offered by BioLab foster collaboration in the cancer research community and provide a place to share experiences, build new collaborations and drive cancer research forward.

BioLab-Hub

To address the COVID-19 pandemic, BioLab has extended its educational offerings by launching the BioLab-Hub initiative to better assist BioLab users.

BioLab-Hub posts a selection of free webinars on cancer-related technologies and research innovations, and a monthly topic-driven, view-and-learn collection of curated technical resources on new technologies, instrumentation, applications, and protocols related to cancer research (Read More).

To keep abreast of BioLab-Hub news, please subscribe to our mailing list https://lists.oicr.on.ca/mailman/listinfo/biolab (for OICR staff), https://lists.oicr.on.ca/mailman/listinfo/biolab-global (external users).

To help us tailor the BioLab-Hub initiative to suit your research interests, please send your ideas, suggestions, links, and webinars to vanya.peltekova@oicr.on.ca.

Read a message from the Lead about how BioLab is adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic [PDF]

Upcoming training sessions from the community

Label-free analysis of living cell populations reveals controlled phenotypic variation among single cells
December 1, 2020 | 10:00 a.m. EDT | Register Here

Abstract: The webinar will introduce the Nanolive technology that combines label-free live cell imaging with high-precision segmentation and analysis to quantify how the proportion of single cell phenotypes change in a population over time, in unperturbed and perturbed conditions.

Topics to be Covered: 

  • Comparison of variability of isolated single cells with the variability of single cells in a population to determine whether heterogeneity is driven by internal or external factors
  • Examine how the variability of individual traits change over time in unperturbed cells
  • Analyze how cells respond to perturbations in intracellular trafficking 

Researching Early Detection of Ovarian and Endometrial Cancer using High Sensitivity Genomic Assays
December 2, 2020 | 10:00 a.m. EDT | Register Here

Abstract: Most deaths from ovarian and endometrial cancer are due to high-grade subtypes that metastasize before they are detectable. DOvEEgene is a genomic capture based uterine-pap test, which can identify prevalent ovarian/endometrial cancers as well as germline mutations predisposing to these cancers using high sensitivity sequencing of genes implicated in ovarian and endometrial carcinogenesis.

Topics to be Covered: 

  • Understanding of study design considerations for gynecological cancer screening
  • Insight in genomic approaches to detect cancer associate somatic mutations
  • Understanding of next generation sequencing based methodologies allowing the detection of somatic mutations with high sensitivity
  • Understanding of gene panel design considerations

Lumit™ Immunoassays: A Novel Way to Faster, Easier Science
December 3, 2020 | 1:00 p.m. EDT | Register Here

Abstract: Promega’s Lumit™ Immunoassays can simplify your research by offering simple and fast alternatives to conventional immunoassay methods including sandwich ELISAs and Western blots: simply add-mix-read protocol with no washing steps, direct measurement of the analyte in the cell culture plates, no immobilization to plates, beads or surfaces, with sensitive luminescence detection with wide dynamic range


Leveraging Multi-Omic Approaches to Understand Disease Stem Cells in Myeloid Malignancies
December 3, 2020 | 4:00 p.m. EDT | Register Here

Abstract: Understanding the mechanisms that allow clonal HSCs to expand and cause disease will be critical for developing strategies to identify patients at high risk for adverse clinical outcomes. A major limitation to such studies is the fact that clonal HSCs are often present at low frequencies and intermixed with their unmutated counterparts.

The webinar how to identify cell surface markers present on clonal HSCs and prospectively purify them for further functional and molecular studies. How to use Mission Bio’s Tapestri single-cell multi-omics platform for correlation of cell surface phenotype with genotype with unprecedented resolution and throughput.


Cell Bio Virtual 2020 ASCB | EMBO Meeting
December 5-9, 2020 | Register Here

This joint meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) and the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) will focus on cell biology as the fundamental basis of biology, and will offer sessions on emerging topics. NEW in 2020—Cell Bio will offer eight different tracks—seven scientific and one educational and professional development, as well as more ways for attendees to create their own content and topics to present.


Rapid hyper-plex staining and simultaneous imaging for immunophenotyping of tissue sections
December 7, 2020 | 12:00 p.m. EDT | Register Here

Abstract: It is known that over the course of aging, HSCs commonly undergo clonal expansion leading to bone marrow failure syndromes such as the myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Understanding the mechanisms that allow clonal HSCs to expand and cause disease will be critical for identifying patients at high risk for adverse clinical outcomes who may benefit from pre-emptive interventions. 


Native Mass Spectrometry and COVID-19: Uncovering Drug Binding and Oligomerization
December 8, 2020 | 11:00 a.m. EDT | Register Here

Abstract: Many viruses are surrounded by lipid membranes, including SARS-CoV-2 and influenza. Both viruses contain viroporins, which are small, single pass transmembrane proteins that oligomerize to form ion channels. Although the oligomeric state of the influenza M2 and COVID-19 E proteins, potential vaccine targets, are thought to be tetrameric and pentameric respectively and determining their oligomeric states is challenging. 

This webinar will introduce the native MS and lipid nanodisc technique and will demonstrate how this can be used to directly measure the oligomeric state of protein and peptide complexes within intact model lipid bilayers. 


Tips & Tricks to Better Histology in Tissue Based Research (Part 1) – A review of key factors influencing tissue preparation and processing
December 8, 2020 | 12:00 p.m. EDT | Register Here

Abstract: A TWO PART WEBINAR SERIES DEDICATED TO MITIGATING COMMON ISSUES AT EACH STEP OF THE HISTOLOGY PROCESS. The part one will discuss how to avoid common pitfalls at each stage of the histology process. With over 37 years of experience, the presenter,Fiona  Tarbet, was invited to give this talk at NSH (National Society for Histotechnology) as part of a 4 hour workshop for three consecutive years. For the first time ever, this talk will be presented virtually through this series of webinars.


Human hematopoietic stem cell research made smart and easy
December 9, 2020 | 12:00 p.m. EDT | Register Here

Abstract: The webinar is part of the series “Stem cell research: cutting-edge solutions”.

Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) ensure homeostasis of blood throughout life.This webinar, will share insights into the smart and easy isolation, culture, and functional analysis of human HSCs. A standardized potency assay, such as the StemMACS™ HSC-CFU Assay eliminates the need of user-dependent visual scoring. 


Applying Machine Learning to Multi-Omics Data
December 9, 2020  | 11:00 a.m. EDT | Register Here

Abstract: The definition of big data might seem to be clear from the name, however dealing with big data is more than dealing with high volume data. Extracting systematic information and discovering functional insights from multi-omics data are challenging tasks and traditional data processing methods are not efficient enough to be able to easily achieve valuable insights. To address these challenges, machine learning has been broadly applied to analyse multi-omics.

In this webinar Alex Feltus (Clemson Center for Human Genetics), Yana Bromberg (Rutgers University), and Elana Fertig (SKCCC/Johns Hopkins University) will address some of the challenges of multi-omics data analyses using machine learning.  


Drug Discovery and Development
December 9-10, 2020 | 9:00 a.m. EDT | Register Here

Abstract: This is a two-day Agilent Cell Analysis Drug Discovery and Development live conference. Agilent and BioTek will be showcasing their latest innovations in cell analysis for drug discovery research including interactive booths, scientific posters and live chat with product experts. There will be a series of presentations from industry leaders who will discuss the use of cell-based assays across:Target identification and validation, Screening, Mitochondrial toxicity, Biologics stability, and ADME toxicology.


Targeting Oxygen Sensing in Cancer
December 10, 2020 | 10:00 a.m. EDT | Register Here

Abstract: Low oxygen (hypoxia) is an emerging pathobiological hallmark of practically all solid tumors, acting as an independent prognostic factor in cancer patients.The webinar will present canonical and alternative oxygen sensing mechanisms implicated in therapy resistance and recurrence in cancer. 


Tips & Tricks to Better Histology in Tissue Based Research (Part 2) – A review of key factors influencing the quality of sections and stains
December 10, 2020 | 12:00 p.m. EDT | Register Here

Abstract: A TWO PART WEBINAR SERIES DEDICATED TO MITIGATING COMMON ISSUES AT EACH STEP OF THE HISTOLOGY PROCESS. The part one will discuss how to avoid common pitfalls at each stage of the histology process. With over 37 years of experience, the presenter,Fiona  Tarbet, was invited to give this talk at NSH (National Society for Histotechnology) as part of a 4 hour workshop for three consecutive years. For the first time ever, this talk will be presented virtually through this series of webinars.

Topics to be Covered: 

  • Key factors to help guide labs to achieve great quality – from embedding through staining.
  • How to overcome distortion during microtomy and resolve issues with flotation.
  • Learn what to look for in H&E stains

Adding Dimensions to Multiplex Molecular Imaging
December 16, 2020 | 11:00 a.m. EDT | Register Here

Abstract: Molecular imaging of living specimens offers a means to draw upon the growing body of high-throughput molecular data to better understand the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms of complex disease processes. 

Leica’s two-photon light-sheet microscope combines the deep penetration of two-photon microscopy and the speed of light sheet microscopy to generate images with more than ten-fold improved imaging speed and sensitivity.  

On demand training sessions from the community

Troubleshooting Cell-based Assays – Avoid Common Pitfalls from Cell Seeding to Analysis
On Demand | Register Here

Abstract: The assessment of cell health and cellular responses after experimental manipulation continue to be a very important aspect of experimental biology. Despite choosing the appropriate assay type there are many more factors to be considered to mitigate data variability. This joined (Promega and Eppendorf) webinar offers a comprehensive overview of the cell culture workflow and introduces measures to maximize the outcome of your cell-based assay.


Highly specific multiplexed RNA imaging in tissues with split-FISH
On Demand | Register Here

Abstract: The webinar will present split-FISH, a multiplexed fluorescence in situ hybridization method that leverages a split-probe design to achieve enhanced specificity. Split-FISH reduces off-target background fluorescence, decreases false positives and enables accurate RNA profiling in uncleared tissues.It will demonstrate the efficacy of split-FISH on various tissues by quantifying the distribution and abundance of 317 genes in single cells and reveal diverse localization patterns for spatial regulation of the transcriptome.

Topics to be Covered: 

  • Multiplexed FISH is an attractive tool for spatial transcriptomics.
  • Advantages of split-FISH design in lowering background and false positives.
  • Example applications in profiling RNA localizations in tissues.

From discovery to functional assays: therapeutic antibody research by Miltenyi Biotec
On Demand | Register Here

Abstract: Monoclonal antibody-based drugs have shown great potential as a treatment for several cancers. Miltenyi Biotec, offers a complete workflow for your antibody discovery research. From sample preparation, separation and sorting of different immune cell subsets (NK, B, T cells and Monocytes), characterization by flow cytometry to standardized B cell culture protocol. 


10XGenomics: Gain Insights Into Therapeutic Resistance With Single Cell RNA-Seq
On Demand | Register Here

Abstract: Single cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) provides the resolution and scale to unravel the complexity of cancer biology and reveal insights to advance human health. Join Dr. Allison Stewart and Dr. Carl Gay of MD Anderson Cancer Center as they discuss using scRNA-seq to discover intratumoral transcriptional profiles that emerge during resistance to targeted therapies. Their work alludes to new hypotheses around how therapies might be deployed in combination to minimize resistance.


Companion Diagnostic and Biomarker Assay Development for Interrogation of Liquid and Solid Tumor Biopsies – From RNAscope to Exosomes
On Demand | Register Here

Abstract: This webinar will provide an overview of the Bio-Techne technologies being used by Biopharma for the development of biomarkers and companion diagnostic assays to support their therapeutic programs, including tissue-based and liquid biopsy approaches. In particular, the RNAscope technology and its utility as a companion diagnostic platform for tissue-based testing of biomarker expression and patient selection will be reviewed. In addition, the use of exosomes in the development of biomarkers for oncology, neurologic diseases, and other conditions will be highlighted


Measuring Stromal Heterogeneity in Cancer Tissues by Tissue Imaging Proteomics
On Demand | Register Here

Abstract: Stromal heterogeneity plays a significant role in cancer, influencing progression, outcome and response to therapy.

Here, we discuss new technologies capable of reporting stromal regulation between normal, normal adjacent, and tumors in cancer tissues obtained from surgical pathology.

Our data demonstrate that very specific sites of post-translational regulation within the stromal proteome play a significant role in changes between tumor and non-tumor tissue.

Implications to studies on cancer risk and disparities are discussed.


A new approach for DNA/RNA sample assessment using the Thermo Scientific™ NanoDrop One™
On Demand | Register Here

Abstract: Experimental techniques such as PCR, qPCR, cloning, sequencing and transfection require samples of known concentration and purity. Absorbance at 260nm is the most popular method for DNA and RNA quantification. However, residual chemicals from the nucleic acid extraction process as well as co-purified cell components can affect the A260 concentration result and the purity ratios (260/280, 260/230) don’t tell the whole story about sample purity. Thermo Scientific™ NanoDrop™ One™ Acclaro Sample Intelligence technology uses powerful mathematical algorithms to identify contaminants and deliver accurate information about both concentration and purity for success in downstream experiments.


Understand your controls for WB, IHC and IF: 20-30 min webinars available on demand
On Demand | Register Here

Abstract: Experimental techniques such as PCR, qPCR, cloning, sequencing and transfection require samples of known concentration and purity. Absorbance at 260nm is the most popular method for DNA and RNA quantification. However, residual chemicals from the nucleic acid extraction process as well as co-purified cell components can affect the A260 concentration result and the purity ratios (260/280, 260/230) don’t tell the whole story about sample purity. Thermo Scientific™ NanoDrop™ One™ Acclaro Sample Intelligence technology uses powerful mathematical algorithms to identify contaminants and deliver accurate information about both concentration and purity for success in downstream experiments.


The Next Generation of CAR-T Cells: New Techniques in Gene Editing and Rapid Assessment with Real Time Live Cell Analysis
On Demand | Register Here

Abstract: Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy has yielded promising results. In this webinar, experts in CAR-T cell development discuss new techniques to further improve functionality.

Topics to be Covered: 

  • Developing allogeneic anti-CD19 CAR T cells by utilizing an engineered homing endonuclease (ARCUS)
  • Reducing off-target events and enhancing gene-editing efficiency 
  • Rapid assessment of CAR constructs targeting cleaved MUC1*
  • Generating in vitro data on the xCELLigence Real Time Cell Analysis Platform to predict the effect of the CAR-T cells in vivo

Engineering Mucosal Barriers: From Organoids to Organs-on-Chips
On Demand | Register Here

Abstract: Mucosal barriers are the gateways to all internal organs, serving to transport oxygen, nutrients, and waste and at the same time performing enormous feats of protection against infection and other hazardous insults. 

This talk will highlight three themes: (i) engineering synthetic microenvironments to expand primary adult epithelial organoids and induce morphogenesis into mucosal barriers (ii) engineering microfluidic devices to create microbial-mucosal interfaces 


Past BioLab sessions

2020

  • Amnis® Multispectral Imaging Flow Cytometry for Single Cell Analysis: Tools and Applications
    January 28, 2020

2019

  • Virtual Reality (VR) in Cancer Imaging: Project Theia – Interactive VR Cancer Research Lab
    November 29, 2019
  • The Antibody Reproducibility Crisis
    October 17, 2019
  • Targeting Epigenetic Mechanisms: Challenges and Solutions
    October 15, 2019
  • BioTek’s Cytation Multi-Mode Cell Imager: Practical Applications for Imaging and Quantification of Cell-Based Assays
    September 18, 2019
  • Development and Implementation of Clinical Proteomics for Precision Oncology: Applications at the Bedside
    August 6, 2019 | [Watch on YouTube]
  • Magnetic 3D Bioprinting of Cells: an advance platform for developing tumor models for high throughput functional studies and drug screening
    July 24, 2019 | [Watch on YouTube]
  • Improving Communication through Visuals: 10 Tips for Better Science Figures
    July 11, 2019
  • Artificial Intelligence in Cancer Imaging: Bridging the Gap between Pathologist and Algorithm
    June 21, 2019 | [Watch on YouTube]
  • Live Cell Imaging with OkoLab BioStation and Leica SP8 Microscope
    May 30, 2019
  • IsoPlexis Single Cell Platform Links Functional Proteomics with Cancer Immunotherapy
    May 28, 2019
  • Oncomine Technology and Solutions for Utilization of Liquid Biopsy Assays in Cancer Research and Clinical Practice
    May 9, 2019
  • Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy: Exploring Field of View and Mosaic Function to Assemble Single High-Resolution Images into a Large Super image
    April 24, 2019
  • MACSQuant® Tyto® Flow Cell Sorter for Multiparametric Cell Sorting Based on Microchip Technology for Sterile and Gentle Cell Isolation
    April 17, 2019
  • Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy: Leica SP8 TCP Basics
    April 10, 2019
  • Smarter Medicine: Getting Started in Computational Pathology
    April 9, 2019 | [Download the slides]
  • Optimizing Ribonucleoprotein Delivery to Achieve Potent and Precise CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing
    March 27, 2019
  • Simultaneous Detection of Noncoding RNAs and Protein Cell Surface Markers from PBMC Subpopulations
    January 31 and February 1st, 2019
  • MaxCyte Flow Electroporation Technology: Choosing the Right Cell Engineering Technology from Discovery to Manufacturing
    January 29, 2019
  • Simultaneous Detection of mRNA transcripts and Proteins in Different Immune Cell Subsets
    January 22, 2019
  • Innovative Tools and Techniques for Isolation and Characterization of Cancer-Derived Exosomes (MACSPlex and MACSQuant)
    January 16, 2019

2018

  • Novel Automated Platforms for CRISPR-Engineered Cell Lines and Synthetic sgRNA for Primary Cell and Screening Applications
    November 29, 2018
  • PrimeFlow RNA Assay for simultaneous detection of RNA and Protein by Flow Cytometry
    November 8, 2018 | PowerPoint slides
  • Three-Dimensional Organoid Cultures as In Vitro Models for Cancer Research: Applications and Prospective
    October 24, 2018
  • Tools and Techniques for Isolation and Multi-Plex Analysis of Cancer-Derived Exosomes via Flow Cytometry
    October 10, 2018
  • The Moffitt Cancer Center approach to pathology diagnostics supporting the delivery of precision oncology and immune-oncology treatments
    October 16, 2018 | Video
  • Introduction to Multiphoton Microscopy and Fluorescent Lifetime Microscopy (FLIM)
    October 16, 2018
  • Basics of Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy
    October 4, 2018
  • BioPlex 200 Analyzer: How to Use of xMAP Technology to Measure Complex Immune Responses
    September 10, 2018
  • Global Transcriptome Profiling for Better Biomarkers
    September 5, 2018
  • OkoLab BioStation for Live Cell Imaging by Leica SP8 Microscope
    August 1st, 2018
  • The Future of Diagnosis: Learning To Recognize Similar Images In Digital Pathology
    July 31, 2018
  • Computational Pathology Tools for Whole Slide Biomarker: ISH spot quantification at single cell resolution at the STTARR image analysis core facility
    July 19, 2018
  • OkoLab BioStation for Live Cell Imaging by Leica SP8 Microscope
    June 25, 2018
  • Circulating Tumor DNA (ctDNA): Detection and Applications in Curable Cancers
    June 11, 2018
  • Preparation of Single Cell Suspensions from Tissues for Cell RNA Sequencing by 10XGenomics
    May 7, 2018
  • Multiplexing and Applications of the QuantiGene™ Plex and ViewRNA™Assay in Cancer Research and Diagnostics
    May 2, 2018
  • Basics of Leica Laser TCS SP8 Confocal Microscopy
    April 24, 2018
  • Droplets for Cancer Detection in Liquid Biopsy
    April 19, 2018
  • Advancing Oncology Research with High Content Imaging and 3D Models: Technology and Application Overview
    April 5, 2018
  • MACS Technologies for Single Cell Omics: Methods for Sample Preparation, Cell Isolation and Single Cell Analysis for Cancer Research
    March 29, 2018
  • Quantitative Intracellular and Intra-Nuclear Spot Analysis Using Cytation-3 Digital Microscopy
    February 13, 2018
  • Visualize Gene Expression and Genetic Variations in Tumor Microenvironment: Applications of RNAscope and BaseScope ISH Technologies
    February 5, 2018

Leader

Dr. Vanya Peltekova PhD
Lead, BioLab Operations, Ontario Institute for Cancer Research
All inquiries can be addressed to Dr. Peltekova at vanya.peltekova@oicr.on.ca.


Seminars and workshops are for educational purposes only and are not an endorsement of any products or services by BioLab or by OICR.