Except for the “pandemic pause” in 2020-2021, an Annual Course in Flow Cytometry has been given every year since 1977. The Course originated at the University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry under the direction of Dr. Paul Horan and Dr. Kathy Muirhead, and was held there until 1982. Since then, the Course has been hosted on a rotating basis by a number of other sites and organizing groups, including the National Flow Cytometry Resource (Los Alamos), Verity Software House (Bowdoin College), and the University of New Mexico (Albuquerque).

In 1984 it was decided that two separate types of courses were needed to better serve the cytometry community: a research applications course, primarily targeted at research and cutting edge types of applications; and a clinical applications course, generally focused on applications and interpretations impacting patient management. While there is some overlap in topics covered, each has evolved to have a different focus and they are now sponsored by different organizations.

Cytometry Educational Associates, Inc., a non-profit umbrella organization, now coordinates the organizing groups hosting the Annual Course in Research Applications of Cytometry. Most of the major cytometry manufacturers provide equipment, reagents, materials and personnel for this Course, which is normally held in June.

Specific applications and topics covered in the Research Applications Course have evolved along with the field of cytometry, but the Course’s format has remained the same: a week of small-group hands-on sessions where experts in the art and science of cytometry share their “keys to success” with participants interested in applying a given technique to their questions of interest. Participants regularly tell us that the networks created at the Course are even more valuable than the details provided in the extensive course notebook of protocols and references!

From 1984 – 2013, the Clinical Applications Course was hosted by several different institutions, including The Hershey Medical Center, Dartmouth Medical School, Northwestern University Medical School, Roswell Park, and the University of Pittsburgh. From 2014 – January 2022, the Clinical Cytometry Education Network (ICCS, ESCCA and the Coulter Foundation) sponsored a series of Practical Courses on Clinical Cytometry at locations in the U.S., Europe and India.
Going forward, ICCS plans to offer an ICCS Course in conjunction with its Annual Meeting, which is typically held in October.

To decide which course is for you, we suggest you look at the topics normally covered by each type and perhaps contact the appropriate course organizer.