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Luminex ImageStream analysis in the cloud

Read Time 2 mins | Written by: Kenneth Hough

Luminex’s ImageStream® cytometer is a powerful tool used by scientists in biology and medical fields to understand the mysteries hidden inside our cells. The cytometer combines two powerful analytical methodologies: flow cytometry, and fluorescence imaging. Flow cytometry is a technique that allows scientists to quantitate numerous cellular features, such as proteins and DNA, using lasers, optics, and a fluidics system. Invented in the 1960s, flow cytometers are an integral piece of equipment in biological and medical research. Fluorescence imaging, on the other hand, is a microscopy technique used to snap images of cells and understand its structure and morphology. The technology uses fluorescent “tags” or labels to mark cellular components and proteins to understand where there are located (localization), what other molecules they may be associated with (co-localization), and how they move about inside and outside the cell (trafficking).

Combining flow cytometry with fluorescence imaging makes it possible to gain insight into the cell at a microscopic level with access to both quantitative and qualitative data. Not only can scientists determine protein expression of cells, but also learn about its localization and trafficking throughout the cell.

We understand that specialized analysis software frequently require a specific platform or operating system, such as the case with Ideas®, the analysis software for ImageStream®. Additionally, resource restrictions such limited access to workstations due to overly busy core facilities, can impede scientific research progress. To address these issues, we have partnered with Cytogence, Inc., an Alabama-based biotech company, to develop a virtualized workstation using Amazon Web Services AppStreem 2.0 platform to analyze ImageStream® data in the cloud. We have successfully showcased our virtualized workstation that enables researchers to analyze their ImageStream data securely and reliably from any internet-connected device, even including tablets.

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Kenneth Hough


I founded KeyQ in March of 2020 with the vision of helping businesses achieve the next level of success through delivering innovative and meaningful cloud solutions. Since its inception, I have worked with several businesses, non-profit organizations, and universities to design and build cloud applications that have helped streamline their business processes and reduce costs.

Prior to KeyQ, I was a medical researcher at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine. UAB is also where I worked on my doctoral thesis under the mentorship of Dr. Jessy Deshane and Dr. Victor Thannickal. During my doctoral work at UAB I was exposed to the “omics” and big data, which has influenced my career choice to develop data-driven analytics platforms in the cloud.

I also have to give a big shoutout to my undergraduate education at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), where I majored in biochemistry. WPI’s motto is “Lehr und Kunst,” which roughly translates to “Theory and Practice” or “Learning and Skilled Art.” WPI truly cherishes and upholds this pedagogy, which can be seen by the teaching styles and class sizes. The learning experience I had at WPI is unique and has shaped me to be who I am, being able to learn, practice and apply.

Personal Interests

I love to learn innovative technologies and try new things. I have a broad area of interests that include serverless architectures, machine learning, artificial intelligence, bioinformatics, medical informatics, and financial technology. I am also working towards my CFA level 1 exam for 2021. Other interests and hobbies include traveling, rock climbing, rappelling, caving, camping and gardening!