LAS CRUCES, NM (KTSM) – Jessica Perea Houston, Ph.D., professor an interim department head of Chemical & Materials Engineering at New Mexico State University, was voted in April of 2022 into the position of president-elect of the International Society for Advancement of Cytometry (ISAC).

Cytometry is the measurement of cells and cell systems using quantitative and cutting-edge technologies. The society promotes education, outreach, innovation and fundamental science toward the characterization, organization and structure of cells.

I am honored to be nominated to run for ISAC president-elect this year (2022). I believe that it is important for us as members to work hard to maintain the strengths and mission of ISAC and to give back to this society, particularly if it has helped shape our careers, research, and successes. Our membership are incredibly knowledgeable, creative, insightful, active, and vocal. These are important traits for us and can help ISAC maintain its purpose and function. Thus, I am excited to have the chance to lead our members and help us prioritize as we enter a new post-COVID era and strengthen the footing that has already been established by our current, past, and future presidents.

Jessica Perea Houston, Ph.D.

Dr. Houston is a highly respected contributor to the field of cytometry. She established her value as a faculty member early on and is one of our strongest faculty members. She is an outstanding teacher, mentor and leader.

Lakshmi Reddi, Dean, College of Engineering, NMSU

Her term will run until 2024 at which time she will serve as president of ISAC for one year, then past-president in 2025. She has served on the executive committee as treasurer of this society for four years as well as on the ISAC council.

ISAC is a scientific society with about 2,000 members; it was formed in 1978 and has a mission to “serve a multidisciplinary community by leading technological innovation, scholarship, and the exchange of knowledge in the quantitative cell sciences.”

Houston is a graduate of Santa Fe High School. In 2000, she received a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from NMSU. She went on to receive her master’s and doctoral degrees from Texas A&M University. She worked at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, on breast cancer-related optical imaging research as a graduate student.

She later focused her efforts on flow cytometry as a Director’s Postdoctoral Fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratory’s National Flow Cytometry Resource, funded by the National Institutes of Health. The National Flow Cytometry Resource pursued the development of advanced flow cytometry instrumentation and applications, and transferred many developments to the biomedical science community.

She joined the NMSU faculty in 2009 and introduced a new line of biomedical research to the Chemical and Materials Engineering Department. She directs the Flow Cytometry and Biophotonics Lab focused on cytometry instrumentation development.

Houston was recognized for her research in this field with a National Science Foundation CAREER award, one of the foundation’s most prestigious honors, in 2012. She received a Fulbright Faculty award, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State in 2018. She traveled to Saitama University north of Tokyo, Japan, to work alongside Miho Suzuki, a colleague and biochemist.

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