ABRF Virtual Town Hall Meetings 

ABRF members convene on a monthly basis to discuss issues and updates, including the latest developments from the ABRF Research Groups.

If you have suggestions for future ABRF Town Hall topics, please send us your ideas.

Next Town Hall:
         Wednesday, March 12, 2024
12:00 - 1:00 pm ET
AI and Imaging Core Facilities - follow-up session

Based on the number of extremely large number registrations for the 1st AI in an imaging core Town Hall and the breadth of this topic, we will be holding more Town Halls.  Since everyone attending felt the breakout sessions were too short, future Town Hall will focus on a single topic.

As someone who runs a lab or a core facility, have you ever wished you could clone yourself?  Have you ever itched for more time in your busy day to spend on deep-impact, brain-intensive tasks like grant and manuscript writing, helping people with better experimental design, etc.?  Do you feel like you are constantly being interrupted from your focus by answering basic questions for which your users and clients should already know the answers? 

During this session, we will describe using a chatbot to provide users a resource that is always available and has been trained to answer most of the basic questions.  It answers questions only from curated content, so there is no risk of it crawling the internet for random (wrong) information.  We will go over how to start down this path, the progress that's been made in improving the system, and where the project headed.

This session will be a combination of a brief, historical talk to provide the context of the need, followed by a hands-on workshop with audience questions, and ending with ~10 minutes of discussion of collaborative ideas for expanding the system to community members.  Once you register, you will be provided with a few items of optional “homework” in case you want to explore some of the software before the workshop.  While this will be slightly light microscopy-centric, the concepts could be easily employed in any multi-user laboratory.

Future Town Hall topics

  • 101 machine learning, AI and everything in between ( with real-life examples)
  • Image analysis workflows—when and how to incorporate AI
  • How to use specific tools, e.g. CellProfiler, Fiji/ImageJ, NIS Elements, what models do these tools currently support
  • How to validate an AI model (i.e., how do you know that your approach is “correct”)
  • Architectures and models – advantages, disadvantages, applications, how to choose etc.

Discussion Leaders:

  • Constadina Arvanitis, Northwestern University
  • Rich Cole, New York State Department of Health Wadsworth Center
  • James Chambers, UMass Amherst
  • Jian Wei Tay, University of Colorado Boulder
  • David Kirchenbuchler, Northwestern University

Register today for this or any of the upcoming ABRF Town Halls.  If you have suggestions for this topics to cover during the Town Hall, please share those with us ([email protected]).

We look forward to seeing you.


Wednesday, March 20, 2024

ABRF Technology Town Hall on Spatial Omics

Everything you Wanted to Know about Spatial Omics.....and Don’t Be Afraid to Ask

12:00 – 1:30 pm ET
Please note that an extra 30 minutes has been allotted to give more time to ask questions and share ideas.


Register here


This Town Hall will be led by two leaders in the Spatial Omics community:


Luciano Martelotto, University of Adelaide, Australia


Ioannis Vlachos, Harvard University, USA


Everyone that works in or supports Spatial Omics is encouraged to attend this interactive ABRF Technology Town Hall. This is an opportunity to meet and interact with your peers in addressing any challenges and exploring opportunities in providing spatial omics services.  Please note that anyone is welcome to join.


This Technology Town Hall on Spatial Omics will be divided into 3 parts.  Possible topics of discussion for each part are outlined below. 
All parts will be recorded.


Part 1-Introduction/Overview (All)


Part 2a-Core Lab Sample Prep Challenges and Opportunities (Concurrent Breakout)


Part 2b-Data Management Challenges and Opportunities (Concurrent Breakout)


Part 3- Recap and open discussion (All)



Part 1:  An Introduction to the Technology

To cover the fundamentals of the technology in question, explaining its purpose, how it works, and its place in the broader context of its field. 

Key points could include:


-Historical Background: Briefly describe the evolution of this technology and its predecessors.


-Core Principles: Explain the basic scientific principles or technological concepts that underpin this technology.


-Applications: Highlight the primary applications and the problems it solves or the needs it addresses.


-Advancements and Innovations: Discuss recent advancements in the technology and potential future developments.


Part 2a:  Core Lab Sample Preparation Challenges and Opportunities (Breakout)


To delve into the specific challenges and opportunities related to sample preparation, which is often a critical step in many scientific and technological processes.


-Challenges in Sample Preparation: Address common difficulties such as sample contamination, degradation, or inconsistency. Explain how these challenges can impact results or the efficiency of the process.


-Technological Solutions: Present current solutions or methodologies that have been developed to overcome these challenges.


-Emerging Techniques: Discuss any new techniques or tools that are emerging in the field and how they promise to address existing limitations.


-Opportunities for Improvement: Explore areas where sample preparation could be further improved, suggesting potential areas for research and development.


-Case example: maybe some of the benchmarking studies.


-Ask questions and share ideas


Part 2b:  Data Management Challenges and Opportunities (Break out Room)


To focus on the challenges and opportunities in managing the data generated by the technology, which is often vast and complex.


-Data Complexity and Volume: Explain the scale and complexity of the data generated, and the challenges these characteristics pose.


-Data Processing and Analysis: Describe the tools and methods currently used for data processing and analysis, and the challenges involved in these processes.


-Innovations in Data Management: Highlight new software, algorithms, or computational methods that are enhancing data management capabilities.


-Ask questions and share ideas


Part 3:


Recap of the Breakout Room discussions


Future Directions: good opportunity management to speculate on the future of data management in this field, including potential advancements and the impact they could have on the technology’s effectiveness and applications.


More open time to ask questions and share ideas.

If you have suggestions for this topics to cover during the Town Hall, please share those with us ([email protected]).

Click here to register for this and any of the ABRF Virtual Town Hall Events.

All participants agree to comply with the
ABRF Code of Conduct for Virtual Events.

To access prior Town Hall presentations and recordings, visit the Workshops and Webinars page.