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Multiplex User Meeting – Virtual Event Success

Rhian Evans, Ph.D., Scientist

Virtual meetings and online education have become the norm, with face-to-face conferences on hold until safer times prevail. Conferences are a great way to learn, collaborate and network, so Leica Biosystems utilized the virtual space to host an interactive virtual event, to bring you educational content on multiplex IHC/ISH in life science research.

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In February 2021, Leica Biosystems launched an innovative, highly interactive, and totally virtual event with all the aspects of a face-to-face conference! We engaged with the life science and research community (and vice versa) to highlight how our multiplexing solutions for life science research can enhance all-important discoveries. With multiple “rooms” and exhibitions to attend, the event truly gave us the educational and networking conference feel without leaving the comfort and safety of our homes/office. Here is a recap of what the event included.

Live presentations and webinars in our virtual auditorium

The virtual auditorium welcomed interesting presentations from Leica Biosystems product and applications experts and guest speakers. The talks covered multiplex applications and automation for research. Here is a summary of what you may have missed:

Enhanced automated multiplex capabilities on Leica Biosystems BOND research system.

Damian Cockfield and Dean Talia discussed how the BOND RX stainer can create fully automated and customized protocols for 2- to 6-plex IHC/ISH and the benefits these provide. Multiplex can now be fluorescent or chromogenic, with more options available thanks to the chromogen open toolbox. Damian also gave a virtual demonstration of the BOND RX 7.0 software to highlight its ease of use and customizable features to enhance your multiplexing study goals.

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Chromogenic multiplex biomarker profiling of human FFPE tissues using UltraPlex technology.

Helen Snyder, PhD, Director of Preclinical development, and Strategic Partnerships at Cell IDx walked us through UltraPlex chromogenic multiplex IHC applications and its advantages compared to traditional IHC methods. The UltraPlex IHC can chromogenically detect 3 biomarkers in 4.5 hours using a cocktail of unique barcoded primary antibodies.

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It is time for TIME (Tumor Immune Microenvironment) in experimental and diagnostic pathology.

Dr Borowsky, Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Centre for Immunology and Infectious Disease and UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Centre highlighted the intricacies of the tumor microenvironment. The presentation covered the importance of investigating cellular phenotypes and spatial arrangement to identify novel biomarkers that may reside in the immune synapse that could aid cancer drug discovery by uncovering molecular mechanisms of tumor development and manifestation. Multiplex IHC can enhance such research and this was explored in the talk.

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Multiplex immunostaining – Is it ready for clinical practice?

Jan von der Thüsen, Lead Thoracic Pathologist, Erasmus Medical Centre, compared the use of multiplexing in research and discussed how a range of multiplexing techniques and panels could be translated to diagnostic or prognostic practices in the future. Potential methods for analyzing resulting complex images were also addressed, as were the limitations of such technical and analytical techniques.

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Exhibition Hall & Virtual Laboratory Tour

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As multiplex staining is becoming a vital tool to understanding the intricate molecular mechanisms of disease, companies have developed sophisticated systems to enhance multiplexing capabilities. No more worrying about cross-reactivity or using bundles of limited tissue samples!

Leica Biosystems has several trusted partners that we collaborate with to increase throughput, productivity, and quality of multiplex IHC/ISH by combining these unique techniques with our fully automated BOND RX stainer.

The virtual Exhibit Hall hosted interactive booths for:

Leica Biosystems | Nanostring | Ultivue | Cell IDx.

This hall was the opportunity to learn about each company, interact with representatives and learn more about the multiplex solutions. Blagovesta Wegner, Life Science Global Marketing Manager, Leica Biosystems had this to say about the interactivity of this event:

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“I really enjoyed working with the customers and the team at the Multiplex User Meeting. Interacting via broadcast messaging was a new and insightful way to connect with customers to guide them to interesting information within or outside of the event. On a whole, we gained valuable insight into innovative ways to improve the customer experience to ensure they enjoy working with us as much as we enjoy working with them, even during a pandemic. The customer feedback was very positive, and I think the digital era is the future.”

Bram Nuiten, Sales Specialist at Leica Biosystems reiterates Blagovesta’s enthusiasm:

“The Multiplex User Meeting was an excellent platform to launch our latest developments for the BOND RX stainer and to engage with (potential) customers. Also, customers themselves could meet with their peers and our experts in the virtual environment. Look forward in leveraging this further with our scientific content for the research market!”

Virtual laboratory tour

Throughout the event, multiplex  IHC / ISH , imaging and analysis were the pivotal talking points. Our virtual laboratory featured important Leica Biosystems equipment that will take you through each stage of the process: Microtomy (HistoCore BIOCUT R), automated  IHC / ISH  multiplex (BOND RX stainer), and whole slide imaging (Aperio VERSAAperio GT 450).

This interactive laboratory featured brochures and short videos to provide the attendees an overview of the highlights of the equipment features and their potential workflow improvements . Don’t we all wish our labs were this clean too?!

The event was a great way to keep us all connected and networking together in today’s dramatically different world. We appreciate everyone who registered, attended, and interacted with us– we couldn’t have done it without you.

Here’s to the next event!

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About the presenter

Rhian Evans, Ph.D., Scientist

Rhian is a Scientist from Swansea University in Medical and Healthcare Studies and was featured in several collaborative publications. Rhian’s research-based background focused on tissue-based pathology in Multiple Sclerosis, primarily using immunohistochemical analysis and in vitro molecular techniques. She spent a short period conducting routine PCR testing for COVID-19 at the end of 2020.