BioLab at OICR is a shared instrumentation division that provides advanced state-of-the-art equipment, tools and technical know-how to support lab research activities for OICR researchers and collaborators.

The mission of BioLab is to educate, enable and inspire OICR researchers and collaborators to achieve their research objectives and professional development goals by providing instrument access, knowledge transfer and continued education on advanced cancer technologies and innovations.

BioLab provides its educational offerings through three main intersecting activities:

  • BioLab provides access to advanced technology and leading-edge instrumentation, tools and supports training that brings new knowledge and skills.
  • To maximize the exposure to current knowledge in transdisciplinary cancer research, BioLab offers participation in the networks of science communication such as online webinars and virtual events.
  • BioLab fosters educational collaboration between researchers and technology providers by sharing knowledge, resources and expertise for faster and more effective communication and learning.

BioLab Hub

To better assist OICR researchers during the COVID-19 pandemic, BioLab has extended its educational offerings by launching the BioLab Hub initiative.

BioLab Hub posts bi-weekly selections of free webinars and virtual events (symposiums, conferences, and summits) on new technologies, instrumentation, applications and innovations related to cancer research.

Upcoming Events

From Small RNAs to Chromosomes – An Overview of RNAscope™ Technology and Spatial Biology Tools for Detecting Genes with Single-Molecule Sensitivity and Subcellular Resolution
Feb 7, 2023 I 1:00 p.m. EDT

RNAscope technology uses a novel and proprietary in situ hybridization (ISH) approach to visualize the spatial biology of genes, ranging from small RNAs to whole chromosomes, with single-molecule sensitivity and subcellular resolution. This webinar will provide a technical overview of the RNAscope technology and the utilization of our spatial biology product portfolio.

Topics to be Covered:

  • Overview of the RNAscope technology
  • RNAscope assay workflows and applications
  • Guidelines on sample preparation and pretreatment
  • Guidance on assay setup and appropriate controls
  • Troubleshooting tips
MACS Density-gradient-free Solution for PBMC Isolation
Feb 7, 2023 I 12:30 p.m. EDT

Density-gradient centrifugation is time-consuming and labor-intensive, and the results vary depending on the user.

Miltenyi Biotec offers a large portfolio of Ficoll®-free options for primary cell isolation directly from human blood materials, including leukopaks, buffy coats, LRSCs, and whole blood samples.

Learn how to make your PBMC and immune-cell isolations easier, faster, and more economical, while improving reproducibility and user safety by automating your cell separation processes.

Topics include:

  • MACS® Density-gradient-free Solutions for untouched PBMC isolation from blood samples
  • MACS Quality Blood Products (leukopaks, whole blood, bone marrows, and PBMCs)
  • MACS Magnetic-based Cell Separation System
  • MACS Premium-Grade Cytokines for Cell Activation/Expansion
  • Next-generation REAfinity™ Recombinant Antibodies for Flow Cytometry
Rapid Antibody Discovery: A Case Study in Optimization and Validation
Feb 8, 2023 I 11:00 a.m. EDT

Antibody discovery is a time-intensive process that traditionally can take up to 12 months to identify a panel of potential candidates. This discovery process can be costly if those candidates are not well-behaved and fail in downstream in vitro and in vivo functionality and efficacy studies. These headaches can be avoided by employing platforms that provide rapid, multiparameter data upstream in the antibody discovery process.

Topics to be covered:

  • Case studies on CD47, TFR1, and SIRPa antibody discovery programs leveraging the Distributed Bio’s antibody discovery technology
  • Key platforms that allow you to move rapidly through the antibody candidate discovery process
  • Rapid in vitro antibody validation methods to remove troublesome candidates earlier and more cost-effectively
Visualizing Cancer Biology through Cell Culture Inserts
Feb 8, 2023 I 12:00 p.m. EDT

Understanding cell-to-cell interactions in a tumor microenvironment are increasingly challenging due to the complexity of cancer cells. Existing cell culture methods to visualize cancer cell interactions are limited to mono-layer culture with few established co-culture techniques. Cell culture inserts are unique vessels separated by a porous membrane, designed to maintain cells in two different layers, which enables the study of specific cell-cell functions, including ion and molecular transport, migration, and invasion in various cell types. In this presentation, we outlined several co-culture and triple culture methods to effectively visualize cancer hallmarks using the cell culture inserts system.

Topics to be covered: 

  • Discover how to perform co-culture studies in a cell culture inserts system
  • Outline In vitro modelling of tumor microenvironment
  • Discuss methods to study cancer cell interactions
AI Microscopy Symposium, 8th edition
Feb 9, 2023 I 10:00 a.m. EDT

The AI Microscopy Symposium offers a unique forum for presenting and discussing the latest AI-based technologies and tools in the field of microscopy and biomedical imaging. Additionally, the symposium highlights scientific breakthroughs which are enabled by ML or DL technologies.

In the last four years, microscopists have started to use “AI-based” solutions for a wide range of applications, including image acquisition optimization (smart microscopy), object classification, image classification, segmentation, restoration, super resolution and virtual staining.

Topics to be covered: 

  • How to deploy AI-based techniques in research
  • Review the latest AI microscopy applications
  • Discover best practices
In Vivo Genome Editing: Engineering Effectors, Guides, and Templates
Feb 10, 2023 I 11:00 a.m. EDT

A decade after its initial development, CRISPR genome editing is showing great promise for the treatment of previously intractable diseases, with exciting results reported in early clinical trials. However, challenges in creating precise edits (as opposed to imprecise insertions and deletions) in vivo, and in delivering the editing machinery safely and specifically to target tissues, currently limit therapeutic applications.

In this inaugural Keynote webinar hosted by GEN Biotechnology, Professor Erik Sontheimer presents his team’s advances in developing new CRISPR-Cas effectors, engineered guides, and enhanced templates that improve in vivo implementation across nuclease editing, base editing, and prime editing platforms.

Precision qPCR and dPCR in the Discovery and Development of Cell and Gene Therapies
Feb 16, 2023 I 11:00 a.m. EDT

As a cornerstone of genetic analysis in biological research, quantitative PCR (qPCR) and digital PCR (dPCR) are the most sensitive molecular methods to analyze nucleic acids and play a key role in the development of cell and gene therapies (CGT).

In this webinar, Dr. Kubista will present strategies for implementing reliable qPCR and dPCR analysis in CGT development while highlighting best practices for adhering to MIQE and dMIQE guidelines and the recently released ISO standard, ISO 20395:2019.

Topics to be covered: 

  • Discover how qPCR and dPCR are used in the development of CGT
  • Understand best practice for qPCR and dPCR in CGT development
  • Explore recent developments in this field
Drug Discovery & Development Virtual Event Series 2023
Feb 22, 2023

Labroots and the Drug Discovery planning committee are pleased to announce its 6th Annual Event in the Drug Discovery & Development Virtual Event Series. Labroots will host this online-only event on February 22, 2023. The Drug Discovery planning committee has invited speakers from industry and academia to discuss key challenges, new opportunities, and recent successes in the current landscape of drug discovery and development.

Tracks and Topics to be covered:

  • Improved Models in Drug Discovery and Preclinical Development
    • Emerging Assays
    • Organoid Models
    • Predicting Safety and Efficacy


  • New Methods in PK/PD and Pharmacogenomics
    • PGX of GPCRs
    • In-vitro Models of Toxicity
  • Biomarker Applications in Clinical Development
    • Innovations in Biomarkers
    • Digital Solutions
    • Proteomics
Transforming Cancer Care Using Genomic Tests
On Demand

With the increasing adoption of cancer genomics and the growing need to individualize therapeutic recommendations when treating cancer patients, it is crucial to transform usability and scalability of genomic data for routine oncology clinical practice. As we are preparing to expand our Clinical Decision Support platform into oncology, Congenica has invited Professor Andrew Biankin to talk about his experience in transforming cancer care by use of genomic testing.

By using NGS-based approaches, treatment options can be tailored to an individual’s genomic cancer profile, and the development of resistance to specific drugs can be monitored. The simple concept of testing every cancer for known cancer genes, coupled with the ability of testing hundreds of cancer patients simultaneously by use of NGS-based approaches and automated data analysis and interpretation, will allow us to rapidly and cost-effectively provide personalized treatments to every patient, accelerate access to clinical trials and enable new treatments to be developed faster and more efficiently.

What can AI do for health care? Possibilities and Pitfalls in an Increasingly Digital World
On Demand

Abstract: The term “artificial intelligence” is everywhere, but what does it mean and how can it affect us in a practical sense? AI is already impacting many parts of our daily lives; it’s found in everything from facial recognition systems to navigation software that helps us avoid traffic backups. In the realm of healthcare, its use is less obvious but can often be critical to saving lives. Join our panel of distinguished guests as they guide us through this complex topic, helping us understand the important role that AI plays in the healthcare space today, where its opportunities and deficiencies lie, and what the future might hold if current challenges can be overcome

Topics to be covered:

  • Outline the technologies comprising AI including machine learning, natural language processing, and neural networks and the role that each plays in making AI work
  • Discuss a range of case studies illustrating the application of AI in healthcare, including successes, failures, and learning opportunities
  • Attempt to provide a sense of what a future, AI integrated world of more rapid, accurate, and reliable medical care might look like
Harmonizing Spatial Biology and Immunophenotyping to Characterize the Tumor Microenvironment
On Demand

Multiplex immunofluorescence (mIF) assays offer the advantage of preserving the architectural features of the tumor microenvironment (TME) and revealing the spatial relationships between tumor cells and immune cells that are present. Using an Ultivue 8-plex mIF assay enabled the team to elucidate the T cell phenotypes spatially and quantitively in the context of Adaptimmune’s engineered SPEAR-T cell therapy infiltration within the TME. 

In this GEN webinar you will learn how to incorporate patient baseline and post-infusion biopsies and how to use these analyses to quantify cell densities of subsets of infiltrating immune cells and observe cellular spatial patterns within the tumors.

The Human Data Era
On Demand

Join this webinar event to explore The Human Data Era, a special edition podcast series produced by The Scientist’s Creative Services team and brought to you by Amgen, a pioneer in the science of using living cells to make biologic medicines.

By studying human genetics, scientists discovered mechanisms that, when defective, cause disease. While this type of data is powerful, additional information can provide more insight on the human condition. Researchers and clinicians can now go beyond genetics, combining proteomics, metabolomics, transcriptomics, and environmental factors into a broad category of human data. Scientists and clinicians are making an important transition to incorporate this wealth of information into drug research and development.

Spheroids – What, Why and How-To
On Demand

Over the last seven decades, spheroids have emerged as an attractive model for many scientific fields, including drug development and disease progression. Though spheroids have been in use for an extended period, researchers often have questions about how to take advantage of this 3D system. In this webinar, we will discuss many factors that underlie a successful spheroid experiment, including the considerations that must be given to sample preparation, data capture, and analysis.

OICR Events