BioLab Hub

BioLab at OICR manages state-of-art equipment for translational cancer research and offers free educational seminars, advanced technology workshops and hands-on instrument training sessions led by instrument application specialists.

The mission of BioLab is to provide continuous education and training for the next generation of Ontario cancer researchers using existing and advanced cancer-related technologies, applications, tools and instrumentation.

BioLab Provides

BioLab goes beyond basic theory and training to provide application-driven experiences. BioLab training explores the full potential of state-of-art cancer research equipment from experimental design, through correct equipment usage and even covers project-driven applications.

The training sessions offered by BioLab foster collaboration in the cancer research community and provide a place to share experiences, build new collaborations and drive cancer research forward.


To address the COVID-19 pandemic, BioLab has extended its educational offerings by launching the BioLab-Hub initiative to better assist BioLab users.

BioLab-Hub posts a selection of free webinars on cancer-related technologies and research innovations, and a monthly topic-driven, view-and-learn collection of curated technical resources on new technologies, instrumentation, applications, and protocols related to cancer research.

Upcoming Biolab Hub Training

Streamlined Targeted NGS Workflow for Comprehensive Genomic Profiling of Different Tumor Samples
On Demand

Molecular tumor profiling has provided extensive value, both in tumor biology and oncology. While conventional technologies, such as FISH and PCR, allow accurate low-throughput detection, next-generation sequencing-based approaches enable comprehensive and simultaneous identification of various alterations.

Compared to conventional technologies, NGS-based approaches overcome the challenge of limited materials and reduce the turnaround time. Agilent Technologies will present several hybrid capture-based assays for various tumor entities using the SureSelect XT HS2 chemistry.

Hacking the Immune Response: Novel Vaccine Design to Combat Pandemic Diseases
On Demand

Vaccine design and development have always been an integral part of the biopharmaceutical industry. Investigators face numerous challenges during the vaccine discovery process, with rapidly mutating pathogens being chief among them, as they render vaccine responses obsolete.

In this GEN webinar, speakers from Centivax, will present data on computational immunology interrogation of the adaptive immune response to better understand why immune responses rarely target conserved epitopes.

Physiologic Medium to Study Human Cell Biology
On Demand

Environmental factors influence human cell physiology and can also affect drug efficacy, but existing model systems used to study human cells have limitations for understanding these contributions. This webinar will discuss the initial development and use of human plasma-like medium (HPLM), a physiologic medium designed to more closely reflect the metabolic composition of human blood.

Avoiding Hurdles in Molecular Assay Development
On Demand

The global pandemic has increased focus and scrutiny on molecular diagnostic assay development, resulting in a need for assays that provide quick results while delivering expected performance and quality. The need for these types of assays in infectious disease diagnostics has become apparent on a wide scale, but molecular diagnostic testing is also poised to grow in other areas such as genetic testing, prenatal testing, oncology, and pharmacogenomics over the next several years. This webinar will demonstrate how small changes to assay components (such as enzyme selection) can overcome many of these hurdles during development and significantly impact the overall quality and accuracy of an assay.

How Molecular Combing Technology is Transforming Genomic Research Through Visualizing DNA at the Single-Molecule Level
On Demand

Molecular combing provides unbiased quantification and characterization of DNA structure and dynamics by imaging single DNA molecules from cells, blood, and tissue samples. In this introductory webinar, you will discover the basics of DNA combing and discover how Genomic Vision can support your research.

The Changing Landscape of Diagnostic Biomarkers: Revealing the Future of Diagnostics, from Singleplex to Multiplex
On Demand

Advancing personalized medicine is increasingly becoming the goal of many drug manufacturers and would be an obvious boon for both clinicians and patients. Immunohistochemistry (IHC)-based companion and complementary diagnostics that can help identify the right patient for the right drug are playing a major role in this trend. While a single-biomarker diagnostic test is clinically appealing due to its simplicity and low cost, the additional information that the right multi-biomarker test could offer is luring many developers to pursue multiplex strategies.

Best Practices to Recover from an Out-of-control Event
June 30, 2021 | 11:00 a.m. EDT

Quality control results are flagged on a daily basis, and each lab may have different procedures to resolve the issue. As bench technologists are faced with an abrupt stop to their workflow and delayed reports, there are immediate actions to take following an out of control event. This webinar will discuss steps to recover from an out of control event and how to continue evaluating patient results after recovery.

Quantifying Cellular Microenvironments with Spatial Analysis
June 30, 2021 | 11:00 a.m. EDT

The rapidly evolving field of multiplexed imaging is revealing increasingly complex patterns of cellular positioning and cell-cell interactions with important roles in both cellular- and tissue-level physiology.

This webinar will describe a spatial analysis toolbox capable of leveraging these information-rich datasets: the histo-cytometric multidimensional analysis pipeline (CytoMAP). CytoMAP incorporates multiple approaches for data clustering, positional correlation, dimensionality reduction, and 2D/3D region reconstruction to reveal features of cellular heterogeneity, quantify patterning of these cells across tissues, and identify large-scale principles of tissue organization.

Advances in Proteomics & Metabolomics – Online Symposium 2021
June 30, 2021 | 11:00 a.m. EDT

Accessed via mobile, tablet or PC, this free to attend online symposium will highlight the latest advances in proteomics and metabolomics research and their applications in modern medicine.

The insights offered by proteomic and metabolomic approaches are helping to shape our understanding of diseases, accelerate the development of novel clinical biomarkers and facilitate drug discovery. This event features a collection of exclusive talks from leading scientists in the field, discussing their research and lending insights on the advances and challenges in this exciting space.

Rapid Immunodetection in Clinical and Pharmaceutical Applications
June 30, 2021 | 11:00 a.m. EDT

Faster immunodetection has always been a target among life science researchers. Nowadays lateral flow test is the most popular format of Point of Care Test (POCT) which typically takes 15 minutes to complete and qualitatively detects a soluble antigen. In this webinar, we introduce a new immunodetection technology, direct immunohistochemistry (IHC) which also takes 10-15 minutes to complete but qualitatively detects solid phase antigens in tissue or cells. Direct IHC opens multiple new applications in pathology diagnostics and pharmaceutical companion diagnostics.

A Microsatellite Instability (MSI) Series
June 29, 2021 | 10:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. EDT

MSI has rapidly advanced as an important pan tumor biomarker associated with response to immune checkpoint inhibitors and the drive towards universal tumor testing. Join this session to learn more about MSI from three esteemed speakers who will present on the following topics:

  • Colorectal cancer disparities and the role of MSI testing and implementation
  • MSI screening technologies and techniques to measure microsatellite instability
  • Detection and sensitivity of ccfDNA MSI alleles
  • Development of an MSI Assay Utilizing Novel Long Repeats
  • Exploiting liquid biopsies to detect MSI in cancer for longitudinal immunotherapy tracking
Single-Cell, Spatial Phenotyping: Fueling the Next Wave of Discovery Biology
June 24, 2021 | 1:00 p.m. EDT

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) was founded to help solve some of society’s toughest challenges— from eradicating disease and improving education, to addressing the needs of our local communities. One of the programs within CZI Science is focused on advancing discoveries through single-cell biology. The advent of high parameter imaging platforms, like the CODEX® system, is now allowing biological researchers to catalogue the vast diversity of cellular phenotypes within a tissue sample, while maintaining their spatial context. This webinar will introduce the CODEX solution and share case studies on how single-cell, spatial phenotyping applications can push the boundaries of discovery biology in human health and disease.

Rapid Precision Medicine™ Update Vision for 2022
June 23, 2021 | 6:00 p.m. EDT

Cellular heterogeneity underpins some of the most complex systems in human health – from the immune system, the nervous system or in diseases such as cancer. This webinar will highlight some of the latest research that is providing deeper insights into these complex biological systems.

  • Embracing complexity: from discrete analysis to multivariate visualizations: Yann Abraham, Computational Immunologist, Janssen
  • Dissecting intratumoral immune cell diversity using single cell transcriptomics: Anne van der Leun, Post-doc, Netherlands Cancer Institute
Formulating a New Approach to Pharmacokinetics and Cell State Control
June 22, 2021 | 10:00 a.m. EDT

Most in vitro, biological experiments require a media change every day or two, with cyclic variations in nutrient and metabolite concentrations leading to physiologically unrealistic gene expression and metabolism. Typical step-changes in drug concentrations do not reflect in vivo pharmacokinetic (PK) exposure profiles, which can lead to inaccurate ranking of oncological drug effectiveness. State-of-the-art microfluidic pumps and valves enable the creation of Multi-Well Microformulators that impose on each well a different physiological PK profile, circadian rhythm, or temporal changes of growth factors and signalling molecules.

The Cancer Immunome Project: Adding the Spatial Dimension
June 22, 2021 | 11:00 a.m. EDT

Abstract: Immune checkpoint inhibitors are revolutionizing cancer therapy and have helped many patients over the past few years. A team of investigators at the Mayo Clinic is trying to close this gap by developing a catalog of the human immune system in cancer patients, appropriately called “The Cancer Immunome Project.”

The project seeks to describe the dynamics of immune interactions at both the systemic level — through cytometric analysis of peripheral blood — and the local level, through single-cell, multiplex immunofluorescence-based imaging of the tumor microenvironment. By analyzing the spatial architecture of FFPE tumor sections across the entire tumor microenvironment, the team is generating a comprehensive map of the cancer immunome.

NanoString Signature Series: Utilization of Nanostring’s IO360 and TIS to Direct Spatial Investigation of the Tumor Microenvironment
June 21, 2021 | 1:00 p.m. EDT

This webinar will be focusing on Oncology Gene Expression Signatures accessible through NanoString and select CRO partners. Learn how TIS, PAM50, and LST were developed and validated, and how the signatures are being used in the oncology field today.

OICR Events