May 30, 2012  |  User Stories  |  By  |  1 Comment

Cytobank User Stories: Harris Fienberg

Welcome to Cytobank User Stories, a series featuring interviews with Cytobank users on their research, scientific vision, and use of flow cytometry.

This time we interview Harris Fienberg, a Ph.D. candidate in the Nolan Lab at Stanford University. Harris’s most recent publication features his work developing a cell viability detection protocol for mass cytometry using a platinum-based reagent. You can view and analyze the data firsthand via his Cytobank Report.

Send us feedback and let us know who you’d like to hear from (including yourself)!

What are you excited about in science? What is your scientific vision?
Harris Fienberg – Graduate Student, Nolan Lab, Stanford University
Over the last 30 years we’ve gained an extraordinary understanding of the molecular components that make up cellular signaling cascades. However, we’re just beginning to understand how the various components of the cell work together to integrate signals and relay these signals to form phenotypic outcomes. I’m interested in gaining a more holistic understanding of cellular communication. In the future I believe that specific proteins will be seen less in the context of certain signaling pathways and more as words that the cell uses to make a message. I think that reaching this more comprehensive understanding of cellular signaling will be more about about integrating data with smart data analytics than gaining more and more “-omics” style data sets.

What do you study / what is your field?

I use single mass cytometry to study signaling networks relevant to programmed cell death or apoptosis.

What do you use flow cytometry for?
Trying to take over the world.

What are some of your favorite papers?
Fantastic recent paper on using mass cytometry to understand hematopoiesis:

Single-cell mass cytometry of differential immune and drug responses across a human hematopoietic continuum. Bendal SC et al. Science. (2011) 332(6030):687-96.

Modeling wiz-bang to tell a great story on apopotsis:

A systems model of signaling identifies a molecular basis set for cytokine-induced apoptosis. Janes KA et al. Science. (2005) 310(5754):1646-53.

What do you do for fun?
Bike riding, drinking coffee, poultry farming.

What’s your favorite thing about Cytobank?
I love the ability to look at large data sets in parallel. Cytobank has an easy interface for manipulating huge numbers of samples in a straightforward manner.

Interview conducted and presented by Cytobank staff member Angela Landrigan.