Travel Awards

ACS proudly supports our early to mid-career researchers to attend and present at annual conferences through awards that cover costs for travel.

Personal reflections from our ACS2022 travel award recipients: 

Felix Marsh-Wakefield 

After too many years of virtual and hybrid meetings, it was great to be back in-person for ACS 2022! Highlights for me included great talks by Anna Belkina and Dillon Hammill. It was awesome seeing their work on high-dimensional data analysis. Anna’s work on opt-SNE continues to improve our ability to visualise and comprehend high-dimensional data. Dillon’s R package ‘CytoExploreR’ continues to grow as an excellent alternative for analysing cytometry data in an open access setting, and I’m always impressed by the new features being implemented with each update. The conference dinner was amazing fun at the aquarium, where Laurence Macia shared her words of wisdom for running away from a crocodile (by zigzagging). There was also lots of terrific dancing, and thanks to Kylie Price my throat was dead the next day from all the singing (and thankfully not from COVID). A huge thank you to all the organisers, and I’m looking forward to ACS 2023 in Queenstown!

Justin Tirados

I had an amazing time at the ACS 2022 Conference held at Melbourne Centrepiece, Melbourne. The conference allowed me to present my poster and gather ideas on how to write the thesis chapter containing the results presented on the poster. The conference also allowed me to network with other people and see what amazing science is happening in the cytometry research space. I particularly enjoyed the CytoWomen part of the conference as there is a need to address the inequalities people experience while doing research. Overall, I enjoyed the conference, talking science, and networking and making new friends while attending the conference.

Dillan Hammill

The annual Australasian Cytometry Society (ACS) conference was held in person at the state-of-the- art Centrepiece conference centre situated amongst the tennis facilities at Melbourne park. ACS 2022 kicked off with a series of informative workshops covering topics that included building your own cytometer, designing robust antibody panels and computational data analysis. The workshops were followed by a series of exceptional presentations, including memorable talks by Paul Wallace on a lifetime in cytometry and the discovery of the use of PKH dyes for cell proliferation, and David Weitz on the ever-expanding applications of microfluidic droplet technologies for probing changes in cellular phenotype and function. The clinical and research breakout sessions were followed by an open forum on getting your work published in academic journals and an extensive poster viewing session that facilitated networking with other members of the ACS. The poster viewing session was followed by a jampacked day of talks covering a wide array of topics including immune checkpoint therapy, intravital microscopy of leukocytes, leukaemia, and minimal residual disease. The third day of the ACS 2022 concluded with the conference dinner at Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium situated on the scenic Yarra River. The final day of ACS 2022 began with a series quick fire EMCC talks covering a variety of topics including computational data analysis using CytoExploreR, flow cytometry of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs), high dimensional panel design and characterisation of macrophages using autofluorescence. The EMCC talks were followed by an interesting virtual presentation by Kristen Ward-Hartstonge on the challenges in harmonising cytometry data obtained from multiple clinical trial centres. ACS 2022 concluded with the Annual General Meeting (AGM) where it was announced that the next ACS conference will be held in Queenstown New Zealand. ACS 2022 was a fantastic opportunity to once again network with members of ACS and get up to date with the latest and greatest that Australasian cytometry has to offer. Looking forward to seeing everyone in Queenstown at ACS 2023!

Kathryn Hally

ACS 2022 was an amazing experience. As a newcomer to ACS 2022 and as an early career researcher, I thought the conference struck an ideal balance between data presentations and forums. To draw on some highlights, both the ‘Get Published!’ and the CYTO Women forums were two very successful round-the-table discussions that encouraged our cytometry community to aim higher in these areas. The workshops held on the first day were excellent. Again to highlight, the Build Your Own Cytometer workshop was incredibly helpful in demystifying what’s inside our cytometers, and the Autofluorescence workshop was equally engaging and educational. I’d like to extend a warm thank you to Michael, Tina and the rest of the ACS 2022 organizing committee for an outstanding meeting. ACS2023 is firmly locked into my calendar for this year.

Thomas Mincherton

I recently had the pleasure to attend the ACS 2022 conference. I found this to be an extremely rewarding experience, as a newcomer to the field of cytometry. Having the opportunity to listen to and meet the leaders of this field allowed me to learn from the collective experience of the society. Seeing how the boundaries of the field are being pushed, in advancements to the technology and hardware we use, and the exciting and innovative way that researchers are applying this technology. I found all the work being done to be inspirational, encouraging me to keep developing my own small niche area in the field. Finally, I would say that I found all the members of the society to be friendly and welcoming to a newcomer. It was this that truly made the conference experience so rewarding.

Amanda Stanley

Due to flight times and daylight savings I arrived late to the Sunday workshops at Melbourne Connect to a delicious lunch and much excitement to reconnect with old colleagues at a face-to-face ACS meeting for the first time since 2019. My colleague, Lucie Leveque ElMouttie, told me how interesting and fun the “Build Your Own Cytometer” workshops run by Suat Dervish had been. I then attended the inspiring “Innovation in Cytometry” workshop and the topical “Safety Culture in SRLs” workshop, and headed off to drinks and canapes at the Melbourne Rowing Club. One of the highlights of the week for me was meeting so many familiar faces again and making many new flow connections. The first day of the conference was jam-packed with interesting talks and I loved hearing from Paul Wallace about his career journey, followed by the always compelling information on standardisation in flow cytometry by Virginia Litwin. The Centrepiece conference venue was world-class, and the food served was amongst the best conference food I have ever had. The conference contained many excellent research presentations, and some fascinating presentations from the sponsors highlighting some of the recent advances in the field. There were also some interesting panel discussions including the Cyto Women panel. Attending the poster session in person with a glass in hand felt like a real treat. The highlights of day two for me were the innovation presentation by Betsy Ohlsson-Wilhelm and intravital imaging presentation by Connie Wong. The conference dinner was held at the Melbourne Aquarium and it was great fun to check out some of the animals (especially the jellyfish!) while mingling with fellow flow cytometrists. Of course the dance-floor also kicked off later in the evening and “The Nutbush” really got everyone going! Day 3 saw the end of the conference with some excellent 10 min EMCC talks and finally the AGM. The conference and program were really well-planned, and everything was thoughtfully considered, including the free public transport to get around Melbourne. I would like to thank the ACS for my bursary to attend the meeting and the opportunity to present my work. ACS 2022 was a world-class conference and a memorable week!