CYTO University Webinar: Detecting Apoptosis

Detecting Apoptosis by Flow Cytometry


  • Bill Telford: Senior Associate Scientist, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health
  • Jolene Bradford: Associate Director, Flow Cytometry Systems, Thermo Fisher Scientific
  • Karen Tamul: Instrument Field Application Scientist, EMD Millipore

Module 2: Caspase Activation

This is the second course in the Apoptosis series on CYTO U. This course will review the phenomenon of apoptosis including its role in maintaining homeostasis of the immune system.  It will describe the morphological and biochemical changes that occur during apoptosis, and which form the basis for flow cytometric assays for this phenomenon.  It will then discuss the many assays for cell death.  The course will then cover how to design cell death assays that can measure multiple apoptosis characteristics simultaneously, how to analyze them on a flow cytometer, and how to interpret the data.  Finally, it will provide guidance for choosing the best apoptosis assay for particular cell types and experimental systems.


After completion of this course, learners will be able to:

  • Understand the definition of apoptosis and its role in maintaining immune system homeostasis.
  • Understand the morphological and biochemical changes that occur in cell during apoptosis.
  • Understanding the laboratory assays used for the detection of apoptosis by flow cytometry.
  • Design multicomponent assays for apoptosis, analyze them on a flow cytometer, and correctly interpret the data.
  • Choose the correct apoptosis assays for different cell systems and experimental situations.