MAQC Society 2Q2021 Newsletter
Greetings from the MAQC Society,
I am glad to report that we had a very successful virtual MAQC Society meeting at the end of April. This joint meeting together with MCBIOS included over 40 presentations in the MAQC program and enabled the society to have a dual track for the first time. These presentations highlighted long-term efforts by the SEQC2 consortium and additional interesting research related to imaging, ML, synthetic genomes, RNA and DNA-based biomarkers, multi-omics methods, general methods, single-cell methods, and standards. We presented awards for best presentations (winners can be found on our home page – https://maqcsociety.org). We also presented awards for members and non-members publishing scientific papers in 2020 that promoted the mission and objectives of the society. Finally, we had the opportunity to honor Dr. Weida Tong by naming him Chair Emeritus of the MAQC Society.
Wendell Jones, PhD
Chairperson of MAQC Society
This was our first attempt in conducting a virtual meeting. I want to especially thank Dr. Steven Foley, Dr. Shraddha Thakkar, Dr. Binsheng Gong, and the rest of the support staff at FDA-NCTR for evaluating conference software, configuring the meeting setup, and for administering and managing the joint conference itself. This was a large effort on their part and we were able to make every speaker’s presentation available and accessible to the community at the designated time (no technical glitches!). I also want to thank all the speakers for their contributed work, for the recordings of their presentations, and for being available virtually for Q&A, which helped make the conference run smoothly. From the meeting and the promotion efforts leading up to it, we now have a society membership of roughly 200 persons. This is a significant milestone as, up to this point, the society had not kept formal membership rolls. As much as we enjoyed interacting at the virtual MAQC Society meeting, please make plans now to come in-person to the 5th annual MAQC Society meeting on SAS Campus in Cary, NC USA April 27-29, 2022. I look forward to the time when I can greet you face-to-face.
Another first for the society was conducting a webinar series on SEQC2 efforts and research. This 12-part Webinar series was well-attended and served as a means for not only educating the community on important research being conducted by the SEQC2 consortium but also provided a mechanism to promote society membership and advertise the 2021 annual meeting. I want to thank our speakers: Dr. Weida Tong, Dr. Wenming Xiao, Dr. Li Tai Fang, Dr. Charles Wang, Dr. Mohammad Sahraeian, Dr. Mehdi Pirooznia, Dr. Joshua Xu, Dr. Binsheng Gong, Dr. Christopher Mason, Dr. Jonathan Foox, and Dr. Huixiao Hong for highlighting their (and the consortium’s) research during the webinar series. We hope to make the webinar presentations available to MAQC Society members and otherssoon.
In addition to the presentations, publications by members of the society and the SEQC2 consortium are starting to appear on-line or in print. Check out our Papers page Papers | MAQC society (themaqc.org) for the latest. The SEQC2 has two papers already appearing in Nature Biotechnology, two papers appearing in Genome Biology, and one paper describing the scRNA-seq dataset in Scientific Data. In addition, other papers from the Somatic Sequencing working group have been accepted by Nature Biotechnology and still others from SEQC2 will appear in Cell Genomics and other journals over the next few months. Keep checking the society web pages for updates.
Finally, I wanted to make you aware of a new MAQC Society project. The area is inflammatory biomarkers and the immune system. The study is attempting to examine optimal methods for cell identification by comparing single-cell technologies such as the different methods of cell cytometry including standard flow, mass cytometry, and spectral flow cytometry as well as different methods of single cell RNA sequencing. The sample requirements to perform a multi-lab, multi-platform study of single cells are challenging in that these methods typically need a large number of viable cells to perform optimally. We are in the middle of identifying and acquiring the necessary number of patients/cells suitably preserved for this study, which is a nontrivial task. We will provide an update next quarter as to our success and needs. If you have an interest in participating in this study or have an idea for a suitable new study that can leverage the knowledge and insight of the MAQC Society, please contact me (wendell.jones AT q2labsolutions.com ).
Wendell Jones, PhD
Executive Chair of the MAQC Society