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Jul 23, 2015

JMP Customer Herzenberg Lab Wins Computerworld Honor

Congratulations to Leonard and Leonore Herzenberg, co-founders of the Herzenberg Laboratory at Stanford University. The lab is a 2010 Laureate of the Computerworld Honors Program.


JMP has a longstanding relationship with the Herzenberg Lab, which is famous for its work in developing Fluorescence-Activated Cell Sorting technology. It is the lab's work on this technology that has won the Computerworld Honors. If you've ever wondered why JMP opens a file with the extension .fcs (a standard output format for FACS machines), it is due to the Herzenbergs and their analysis of FACS data with JMP.


For 50 years, the Herzenbergs have run a lab at Stanford investigating topics that sound more like science fiction than science. For example, in the late 1960s, Leonard Herzenberg helped invent the first FACS machine to sort living cells. Shortly after the discovery of hybridomas, cell lines that produce unlimited amounts of specific antibodies (monoclonal antibodies), in the mid-1970s the Herzenberg lab pioneered their coupling with fluorochromes so that scientists could sort cells that contained very proteins or other small molecules that you could attach a small antibody to. To accomplish these tasks, Leonard and Leonore Herzenberg, with help from their friends and collaborators, have invented hardware (FACS machines), software and their applications in the fields of immunology, cell biology, molecular biology as well as in clinical diagnosis, forcing them to pay close attention to details in many disciplines. The Herzenberg Lab, collectively, is a great example of how scientific breakthroughs are benefitting from creative collaborations across multiple disciplines of study.


JMP has also benefitted from these collaborations. By learning the workflows of scientists running FACS experiments, we are trying to build in features that will support these users more thoroughly in current and future versions of our software. For example, in JMP 9, which releases in the fall, we will improve clustering and handle larger data sizes; this is a request from FACS users, who are doing larger experiments and need to separate out more cell populations. Currently, the Herzenbergs are getting ready to evaluate our JMP Genomics and a new upcoming clinical product from JMP as well, giving them access to more analytical methods for high throughput and clinical data. We are proud of our relationship with the Herzenbergs and are happy to see them honored for their achievements.