The 1st German Mass Cytometry User Forum – revisited

The first German Mass Cytometry User Forum held on February 1st and 2nd, 2018 at the German Rheumatism Research Centre (DRFZ) in Berlin was a great success. The Forum was organized by the German Mass Cytometry Network linking mass cytometry laboratories in Berlin, Munich, Ulm and Dresden with the aim to further promote networking and exchange within the mass cytometry community in and around Germany.
The fully booked event connected more than 80 beginners and experts in mass cytometry from Germany and Europe active in different areas of biomedical research. Invited speakers and experts covered mass cytometry technology, operations in core facility settings, reagents and experimental setup and computational data analyses. Participants attended many interesting talks, stimulating workshops and an excellent poster discussion session.
The meeting started with two expert talks by Tomáš Kalina from Prague and Hervé Luche from Marseille, highlighting the many facettes and uses of mass cytometry in experimental immunology, human immune phenotyping, developmental immune biology and leukemia research. In the next session, four junior researchers presented their mass cytometry results, e.g. on profiling auto-reactive antigen-specific T cells. During the coffee breaks and social evening event, participants got together and intensively discussed the latest results presented on 30 selected posters and net with representatives of the six commercial exhibitors. The next day’s morning session dealt with achievements, promises and challenges of analyzing the high-dimensional datasets derived from mass cytometry. Yvan Saeys (ISAC supported lecturer), Vincent van Unen and Tyler Burns gave fascinating and comprehensive expert talks about state-of-the-art computational analysis pipelines and the dos and don’ts of mass cytometry data interpretation. Discussions were extended during the subsequent workshop on data analysis moderated by Jan Sodenkamp, where participants asked and discussed their specific questions with a panel of specialists. The day was concluded with two application-oriented, abstract-selected talks and a workshop on mass cytometry basics and reagents moderated by Désirée Kunkel. Here, attendees openly shared and discussed valuable tips and tricks when working with the technology.
Altogether, the meeting propagated the knowledge and use of mass cytometry and enhanced collaboration between different mass cytometry centers. We want to thank all speakers, dedicated industry and participants for their attendance and support, and for making this a wonderful and memorable event.
We received outstanding feedback from industry and participants and look forward to the next German Mass Cytometry User Forum in 2019.

Henrik Mei and Axel Schulz,
on behalf of the organizers