In-person Workshop

Application Deadline: March 15, 2024
Workshop Date: June 11-15, 2024
Location: University of British Columbia and BC Children's Hospital Research Institute, Vancouver, BC
Application Form: CAN-ASC Workshop Application
Event Program: CAN-ASC Workshop Program

The Canadian Autoimmunity Standardization Core (CAN-ASC) is excited to offer our first hands-on, laboratory and lecture-based workshop. CAN-ASC was formed by national leaders in immunology to standardize and improve the quality of immunological research in Canada. This 3.5-day workshop is designed advance the ability of attendees to design and conduct common standard operating procedures (SOPs) and learn new immunological techniques. This workshop is hosted in collaboration with ImmunoT, a UBC-based immunotherapeutic cluster focused on reducing the translational gaps between basic scientists, clinicians, industry, and health-policy experts.

What will you learn?

This workshop presents the opportunity to learn the best practices for common immunological techniques while expanding attendees’ skills and knowledge. Attendees will attend lectures as a group and practice lab work in smaller groups to truly hone their new skills. 

Topics and techniques include:

  • CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing of primary human immune cells
  • CITE-seq experimental design, starting from panel design to the computational analysis
  • Optimized methodology for freezing, thawing, and handling PBMCs
  • Activation induced marker (AIM) assays
  • Flow cytometer setup and FlowJo analysis of complex flow cytometry panels

Lecturers: Dr. Megan Levings (UBC), Dr. Sabine Ivison (UBC), Sarah Colpitts (University of Toronto), Jamie McNicol (McMaster), Megan Hagerman (McMaster)


  • Trainees (Master's students and PhD) and research personnel (e.g., research technicians) conducting immunology research at an academic Canadian institution 
  • Applicants must be working on a research project related to human autoimmunity.
  • An intermediate understanding of flow cytometry (e.g., ability to design and run a 4-6 colour panel), cell culture, and handling of primary cells is required, as these skills will be built upon and not taught from the basics.
  • Space in the workshop is limited to 15-18 people, therefore only 1 person per supervisor will be selected to give the opportunity for different labs to attend. 
  • Attendees will be selected based on the quality of their application. Regional location and level of training may also be considered with the intention of bringing together trainees and research personnel from different areas in Canada and levels of experience.

Date and Location

The workshop will be held at the University of British Columbia and BC Children's Hospital Research Institute in Vancouver, BC, from June 11-15, 2024. The workshop will last 3.5 days.

Click on the button below to view the event program. 

CAN-ASC Workshop Program

Cost and Funding 

One of CAN-ASC's main goals is to increase the accessibility and dissemination of immunology SOPs and to teach new techniques to laboratories that otherwise would not have the resources to learn them. The major costs of the workshop are therefore covered by CAN-ASC, including flights, accommodations for non-Vancouver attendees, and a daily food per diem. Ground transportation will not be covered by CAN-ASC. 

CAN-ASC and this workshop are funded by the CIHR Team Grant: Human Immunology Initiative: Standardization Core. We are grateful for the opportunity to advance the quality of human immunology research in Canada.


Attendees will be hosted at UBC's Walter Gage Residence. Accommodations are included in the cost of the workshop and the rooms comprise of 4 private bedrooms with shared bathroom, kitchen, living area, and balcony.

Applications will be open until March 15, 2024. Please contact with any questions.


CAN-ASC workshop partners

Example for Balancing Brightness and SEFirst CAN-ASC Webinar a Success

March 26, 2021

First CAN-ASC Webinar on high-parameter flow cytometry given by Dr. Florian Mair was a success with ~100 people and lots of audience interaction! Check out the compiled Q&A, useful links recommended by Florian and a link to the talk itself on our webinar page. Thanks to all who participated!

Webinar seriesIntroducing the CAN-ASC Webinar Series

Mar 4, 2021

The CAN-ASC Webinar Series is for those who are navigating the variable waters of human immunology. The emphasis will be on live discussion with webinar hosts on a broad array of topics from big-picture considerations to the importance of detailed experimental planning to maximize reproducibility.

Join us on the last Friday of the month, 12 pm PT, 1 pm MT, 3 pm ET. More information and registration here.  

coronavirusIn-person workshops cancelled until further notice

Sep 1, 2020

We will have to cancel our planned in-person workshops and travel grants for workshop attendance and lab-exchanges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the meantime, we will offer a series of webinars starting next spring. Stay tuned!


confettiCongratulations to the awardees!

Feb 17, 2020

Four human immunology research teams have been awarded funding from the CIHR Human Immunology Initiative.

Read more on the CIHR website



  • El-Gabalawy & Team: Prediction and prevention of rheumatoid arthritis in First Nations People
  • Levings & Team: Innate and adaptive immune regulation in human type 1 diabetes
  • Macparland & Team: Defining and Targeting Autoimmune Liver Disease
  • Muise & Team: Defining the immune dysregulation underlying Pediatric IBD to better diagnose and treat patients

immunotherapyCIHR Human Immunology Research Teams Strengthening Workshop

Mar 21, 2019

The workshop goal is to strengthen the Research Team’s full application stage of the Human Immunology Initiative and foster the creation of a coordinated workforce in human immunology research applied to autoimmunity in Canada. It will provide an opportunity for dialogue between researchers who have been successful at the Letter of Intent (LOI) and the team that was successful at the Standardization Core competition [i.e. CAN-ASC]. It is also an opportunity to explore ways in which the Standardization Core can support the Research Teams, and the Research Teams can leverage the work of the Standardization Core. In addition, the workshop will provide an opportunity to exchange ideas with national and international experts and partners to explore strategies and tools for strengthening the team’s full applications.