November 15, 2013  |  User Stories  |  By  |  0 Comments

Cytobank User Stories: Adam Litterman

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

This time we interview Adam Litterman, a Ph.D. Candidate of the Microbiology, Immunology and Cancer Biology graduate program in Dr. David Largaespada’s lab at the University of Minnesota. Some of his work was recently published in the Journal of Immunology and was analyzed using Cytobank.

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?
Adam Litterman - Ph.D. student at University of Minnesota
Adam Litterman – Ph.D. student at University of Minnesota

I am excited about understanding how gene expression is controlled in T cells. This is for a couple reasons. First of all, T cells have a hand in a large number of disease processes: autoimmunity, infectious diseases, vaccinations, cancer, etc., all these diseases could see improved outcomes stemming from better understanding of how T cells work. Second, T cells are an exciting, emerging new type of therapeutic, different in kind from regular drugs or biologics, for cancer and other diseases too. Finally, T cells are a great model system for understanding cellular differentiation and plasticity: naive T cells can take on a number of fairly well characterized fates based on information from their environment. I see a lot of work left to do to try to understand how T cells make those decisions, and ultimately to try to manipulate those decisions for therapeutic purposes.

What do you study / what is your field?
I manipulate CD8 T cells for adoptive immunotherapy of solid tumors.
What do you use flow cytometry for?
I use flow for characterizing T cell phenotypes and other immunology assays.
What are some of your favorite papers?
I really like the Immunological Genome Consortium’s paper about gene expression during a CD8 T cell response.Also I liked Carl June’s New England Journal paper showing what the right T cells can actually do in real people.My favorite all time paper is Francis Crick and Sydney Brenner’s paper where they figured out the triplet code. What an incredible puzzle to solve! It is crazy that that was only about 50 years ago.
What do you do for fun?
I like to work out, lift weights, play basketball, hang out with my wife and our dog and also I like to cook.
What’s your favorite thing about Cytobank?
I like how you can annotate all the meaningful dimensions of your experiment (time points, sample types, etc.) and then rapidly generate organized figures based on any or all of those dimensions at will.

Interview conducted and presented by Cytobank staff member Geoff Kraker.