2012, International Society for Advancement of Cytometry Congress


leipzigIn 2012, the ISAC brings more than 1,000 international experts to the Congress Center Leipzig

It is the world’s most important event in the field of cell diagnostics: the congress held by the International Society for Advancement of Cytometry (ISAC for short). For the first time in over 30 years, the American dominated society returns to Germany for its congress, first held in 1978 at Schloss Ellmau. At the end of prolonged competition between Europe’s conference cities to host the prestigious event, the winner for the CYTO 2012 is: Leipzig.

More than 1,000 scientists and the industry’s experts from all over the world are expected from 2 to 6 June 2012 in the Congress Center Leipzig (CCL) which is part of Leipziger Messe. Managing director Martin Buhl-Wagner commented on the decision: “I am delighted that the ISAC panel recognised the huge potential of the bio-industry region of Leipzig and is bringing its members here.”  We would be good hosts, according to Buhl-Wagner. “The CCL infrastructure was already convincing from the outset. The additional services – from hotels to the programme of events – meet the highest standards. I am absolutely sure that the ISAC has made a good choice.”

It was true that Leipzig was already on the list for many international congress organisers, but the ISAC decision underlined the venue’s qualities for US American organisers as well. The world congress will be accompanied by an exhibition which introduces the very latest procedures and equipment used in cell analysis, as well as presenting scientific institutions and networks.

The ISAC congress is only held in Europe on every third occasion, otherwise in North America. For the CYTO 2012, Leipzig came through a lengthy application process against cities such as Amsterdam, Madrid, Prague and Vienna – finally winning through over the other finalist, Glasgow. In the end, the panel voted unanimously for the eastern German conference city which proved persuasive thanks to the scientific potential of the Free State of Saxony, the region’s industry cluster and the excellent infrastructure of its congress venue. Seen initially as an outsider, Leipzig met the high standards of the ISAC organisers at every stage in the application process. The evaluation phase ended with an inspection visit by the ISAC director Todd Philbrick and chief organiser Marcella Jackson, removing any last doubts regarding the newcomer. Jackson praised the “wonderful visit to the venue” which had been prepared by and involved numerous highly dedicated partners.

The man behind Leipzig’s application and its decisive champion was Prof. Attila Tarnok, one of the leading international experts in the field of analytical cytology who has been at the Leipzig Cardiac Centre for some years. Since the beginning of 2009, he has been spokesman for the research area of “image-based procedures, modelling and supervision of regeneration” at the Translational Centre for Regenerative Medicine (TRM) at Leipzig University. Professor Tarnok, an enthusiastic Leipziger since 1996, is highly regarded among his specialist ISAC colleagues. His activities include that of editor in chief of the scientific journal “Cytometry Part A”, published by ISAC and serving as the most important reference source for this specialist sector.

During the evaluation phase, Leipzig proved to be predestined as the venue for the world congress. For years now, the region has been developing its biotechnology and bio sciences cluster. Several institutions are influential when it comes to current research and development, among them the Medizinische Fakultät and the Biotechnologisch-Biomedizinische Zentrum der Universität Leipzig (BBZ) – Leipzig University Medical Faculty and Biotechnological-Biomedical Centre, the Translationszentrum für Regenerative Medizin Leipzig (TRM) – Leipzig Translational Centre for Regenerative Medicine, the Fraunhofer Institut für Zelltherapie und Immunologie Leipzig (IZI) – Leipzig Fraunhof Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology and the Max-Planck-Institut für molekulare Zellbiologie und Genetik Dresden – Max Planck Institute for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden. Biotechnology businesses are also important, such as the Görlitz company, partec GmbH, and the young ent
urs of BIO CITY LEIPZIG, currently setting new standards in biotechnology, biomedicine and health care. As the Saxony government’s official agency for the development of Saxony as a bio-industry location, BIOSAXONY also contributed to the success of the venue visit.

Not least, the political commitment shown by Leipzig’s mayor Burkhard Jung and Saxony’s Ministry of Trade and Commerce demonstrated to the ISAC that Leipzig really wants to host this congress, given that biotechnology plays a decisive role in the development of the cluster, and with the aim of attracting more investors.

The region could benefit significantly from the positive side effects of the ISAC congress, with stimulating impetus expected for biomedical-biological research. For biotechnology companies in and around Leipzig, an international platform will be in place right on their doorstep. The latest findings from science, research and industry will be brought to the attention of a worldwide public.

ISAC backstory

The ISAC – International Society for Advancement of Cytometry – is the world’s leading scientific organisation in the field of the development and application of technologies used in measuring cells and cell processes. (information on the organisation is available at: http://www.isac-net.org)

Cytometry refers to the determination and measuring of cells and cell parts for diagnostic and treatment purposes. There is an interdisciplinary combination here of cellular and molecular biology, biochemistry, biophysics, cell physiology, immunology, pathology, biotechnology and genetics. To sum it up in “popular scientific” terms, cytometry is hugely important among other aspects for the diagnosis and treatment of illnesses that are conditioned by microorganisms and degenerative processes or are genetic. This means that cytometry plays an important role in the fight against diseases such as HIV, Alzheimer’s and cancer.

The ISAC publishes the science journal  “Cytometry Part A”.
(Internet: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/33945/home)

The ISAC offices are in Bethesda (near Washington), Maryland, USA.

Further information: http://www.isac-net.org