History of the Society

Cytometry is the measurement of cells. Any feature of cells, from their number, size, shape, phenotype and function can be measured by cytometry. Modern cytometry methods allow the individual measurement of many cell properties at once and with very high throughput. It is the science which underpins all of cell biology, and has applications in medical research, environmental science, diagnostics, patient care and all fields of biology.

The Australasian Cytometry Society began in May 1979 as a group of seven people in Sydney who shared an interest in microfluorimetry. The following year the group broadened its scope to become the “flow cytometry organisation” and held a larger meeting in Adelaide. In 1984 (again at a meeting in Adelaide), the group adopted the prefix “Australasian” to reflect the equal participation of both Australian and New Zealander delegates. The group incorporated in 1992 under the name “Australasian Flow Cytometry Group” (AFCG) as a scientific and educational organisation whose purpose is to promote research, development and applications in, and to disseminate knowledge of, flow cytometry – a mission it still maintains today.

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In November 2013, the AFCG made the important step of changing our name to the Australasian Cytometry Society, as a way to encompass the wider variety of cellular evaluation techniques emerging (not all of which are based on flow) and reflect the evolution from a grass roots group to a mature scientific society.

Now with more than 250 members the ACS represents one of the oldest and most well established organisations for cellular analysis in the region, and indeed the world. It is the regional affiliate of the International Society for the Advancement of Cytometry, The International Clinical Cytometry Society, and has an affiliation partnership with the European Society Clinical Cellular Analysis. With roughly equal representation from scientists engaged in clinical / diagnostic cytometry, biological and biomedical research applications of cytometry and those who work in cytometry shared resource laboratories / cores; the ACS provides a valuable educational and networking opportunity for our members.