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Daniel Vocelle Named “Emerging Leader” in the Field of Flow Cytometry

Published February 11, 2024

By Chuck Carlson

Feb. 11, 2024

Pharmacology & Toxicology Assistant Professor Daniel Vocelle was recently selected as one of four “Emerging Leaders” by the International Society for Advancement of Cytometry Shared Resource Laboratory.

It’s a big deal and an important honor not only for Vocelle, but for the Michigan State University Flow Cytometry Core Facility, where he is the assistant director working with Core director Dr. Matt Bernard.

Flow cytometry is an analytical technique that examines cells suspended in fluids. The mission of the MSU Flow Cytometry Core Facility is to provide investigators with access to cutting-edge analytical flow cytometry instrumentation and cell sorting services, as well as training and experimental consultation. And the goal is to teach, assist and provide as many opportunities for cell research cytometry for as many researchers on campus who need it.

“It’s our hope to simply help people do better research, and that’s how we’ve grown tremendously,” Vocelle said. “And even though I’m getting this award, none of this would truly be possible without Matt Bernard. It’s one of those unfortunate things where he came in and laid the groundwork and I get the award. It’s definitely not possible without Matt and the work he is doing behind the scenes.”

The other ISAC “Emerging Leaders” are Marjolijn Hameetman from the Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands; Celine Lages from the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center; and Jessica Prieto-Chavez of the Mexican Social Security Institute. All four will help spread the ISAC message of quality and let researchers know the opportunities available to them in the field of flow cytometry.

“We just want to help everyone do good science,” Vocelle said.

Bernard hired Vocelle, who had recently earned his PhmTox Ph.D., in February of 2020, just as COVID-19 was about to break onto the U.S. landscape. And while it took a while for the facility to wind back up after the pandemic, Bernard said Vocelle’s knowledge and enthusiasm were key.

“We got pretty lucky,” Bernard said. “He had an expertise (in chemical engineering) coming in, and he’s passionate. (Flow cytometry) is a growing area of research, and he’s been instrumental in helping build our cellular biology research.”

There are two core locations on campus: the Biomedical and Physical Sciences Building, where Vocelle does the bulk of his work, and the Institute for Quantitative Science & Engineering, where Bernard works.

“We’re a good team,” Bernard said of his collaboration with Vocelle. “I give him a lot of independence on projects. He likes to tinker with instruments and take things apart and put them back together, and that’s a great part of the job.”

“Really, it’s been the perfect dynamic duo,” Vocelle said. “It has allowed us to do things that have never been thought of before to push the boundaries and to build these partnerships and relationships.”

The facility has grown in recent years thanks to support from various departments and colleges on campus, including Pharmacology & Toxicology, the Institute of Quantitative Health Science & Engineering,