Dr. Vera Tang
Dr. Vera Tang
Adjunct Professor, Facility Manager, Flow Cytometry Core Facility

BSc, Life Sciences, Queen’s University
PhD, Immunology, McMaster University

613-562-5800 ext. 8429


Research Interests

Flow cytometry (FCM) is widely used for phenotypic analysis of cells, however in recent years there has been increasing interest in the use of FCM for the analysis of particles much smaller than cells such as extracellular vesicles and viruses. Although conventional flow cytometers designed to detect cells have the capacity to detect a proportion of these small biological particles, they are functioning at the very limit of detection to do so. The development of protocols that include specific methods and controls are needed to ensure reproducibility of flow cytometry data from small biological particles. My current research interests are in the development of assays, tools, and protocols for the detection of small particles by flow cytometry.    

Recent Publications

  • Welsh JA, Tang VA, van der Pol E, Görgens A. MIFlowCyt-EV: The Next Chapter in the Reporting and Reliability of Single Extracellular Vesicle Flow Cytometry Experiments. Cytometry A. 2020 Nov 16. doi: 10.1002/cyto.a.24268. PMID: 33200505.
  • Aspland AM, Douagi I, Filby A, Jellison ER, Martinez L, Shinko D, Smith AL, Tang VA, Thornton S. Rising to the challenge: Overcoming Shared Resource Laboratory biosafety challenges during a pandemic. Cytometry A. 2020 Dec 2:10.1002/cyto.a.24280. doi: 10.1002/cyto.a.24280. PMID: 33289290; PMCID: PMC7753791.
  • Burnie J, Tang VA, Welsh JA, Persaud AT, Thaya L, Jones JC, Guzzo C. Flow virometry quantification of host proteins on the surface of HIV-1 pseudovirus particles. Viruses 2020, 12(11), 1296. doi:10.3390/v12111296.
  • Welsh JA, van der Pol E, Bettin BA, Carter DRF, Hendrix A, Lenassi M, Langlois MA, Llorente A, van de Nes AS, Nieuwland R, Tang V, Wang L, Witwer KW, Jones JC. Towards defining reference materials for measuring extracellular vesicle refractive index, epitope abundance, size and concentration. J Extracell Vesicles. 2020 Sep 24;9(1):1816641. doi: 10.1080/20013078.2020.1816641. PMID: 33062218; PMCID: PMC7534292.
  • Welsh J A, Jones J.C., Tang VA. Fluorescence and light scatter calibration allow comparisons of small particle data in standard units across different flow cytometry platforms and detector settings, Cytometry A. 2020 Jun;97(6):592-601. doi: 10.1002/cyto.a.24029.
  • Vera A. Tang, Anna K. Fritzsche, Tyler M. Renner, Dylan Burger, Edwin van der Pol, Joanne A. Lannigan, George C. Brittain, Joshua A. Welsh, Jennifer C. Jones, Marc-André Langlois. Engineered Retroviruses as Fluorescent Biological Reference Particles for Small Particle Flow Cytometry. BioRxiv. 2019 Jun 7. doi: 10.1101/614461.
  • Czechowska K, Lannigan J, Aghaeepour N, Back JB, Begum J, Behbehani G, Bispo C, Bitoun D, Fernández AB, Boova ST, Brinkman RR, Ciccolella CO, Cotleur B, Davies D, Dela Cruz GV, Del Rio-Guerra R, Des Lauriers-Cox AM, Douagi I, Dumrese C, Bonilla Escobar DL, Estevam J, Ewald C, Fossum A, Gaudillière B, Green C, Groves C, Hall C, Haque Y, Hedrick MN, Hogg K, Hsieh EWY, Irish J, Lederer J, Leipold M, Lewis-Tuffin LJ, Litwin V, Lopez P, Nasdala I, Nedbal J, Ohlsson-Wilhelm BM, Price KM, Rahman AH, Rayanki R, Rieger AM, Robinson JP, Shapiro H, Sun YS, Tang VA, Tesfa L, Telford WG, Walker R, Welsh JA, Wheeler P, Tárnok A.Cyt-Geist: Current and Future Challenges in Cytometry: Reports of the CYTO 2019 Conference Workshops. Cytometry A. 2019 Dec;95(12):1236-1274. doi: 10.1002/cyto.a.23941.
  • Brittain GC 4th, Chen YQ, Martinez E, Tang VA, Renner TM, Langlois MA, Gulnik S. A Novel Semiconductor-Based Flow Cytometer with Enhanced Light-Scatter Sensitivity for the Analysis of Biological Nanoparticles. Sci Rep. 2019 Nov 5;9(1):16039. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-52366-4.
  • Renner TM, Tang VA, Burger D, Langlois MA. Intact Viral Particle Counts Measured by Flow Virometry Provides Insight into the Infectivity and Genome Packaging Efficiency of the Moloney Murine Leukemia Virus. J Virol. 2019 Nov 6. pii: JVI.01600-19. doi: 10.1128/JVI.01600-19.
  • Ruzicka M, Xiao F, Abujrad H, Al-Rewashdy Y, Tang VA, Langlois MA, Sorisky A, Ooi TC, Burger D. Effect of hemodialysis on extracellular vesicles and circulating submicron particles. BMC Nephrol. 2019 Aug 2;20(1):294. doi: 10.1186/s12882-019-1459-y.
  • Tang VA, Renner TM, Fritzsche AK, Burger D, Langlois MA. Single-Particle Discrimination of Retroviruses from Extracellular Vesicles by Nanoscale Flow Cytometry. Sci Rep. 2017 Dec 19;7(1):17769. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-18227-8. PMID: 29259315; PMCID: PMC5736735.
  • Tang VA, Renner TM, Varette O, Le Boeuf F, Wang J, Diallo JS, Bell JC, Langlois MA. Single-particle characterization of oncolytic vaccinia virus by flow virometry. Vaccine. 2016 Sep 30;34(42):5082-5089. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2016.08.074. Epub 2016 Sep 8. PMID: 27614781.
  • Balathasan L, Tang VA, Yadollahi B, Brun J, Labelle M, Lefebvre C, Swift SL, Stojdl DF. Activating Peripheral Innate Immunity Enables Safe and Effective Oncolytic Virotherapy in the Brain. Mol Ther Oncolytics. 2017 Sep 15;7:45-56. doi: 10.1016/j.omto.2017.09.004. PMID: 29062886; PMCID: PMC5645178.
  • Beug ST, Tang VA, LaCasse EC, Cheung HH, Beauregard CE, Brun J, Nuyens JP, Earl N, St-Jean M, Holbrook J, Dastidar H, Mahoney DJ, Ilkow C, Le Boeuf F, Bell JC, Korneluk RG. Smac mimetics and innate immune stimuli synergize to promote tumor death. Nat Biotechnol. 2014 Feb;32(2):182-90. doi: 10.1038/nbt.2806. PMID: 24463573; PMCID: PMC5030098.

Research interests

  • Nanoscale
  • Small particle flow cytometry
  • Extra cellular vesicles
  • Viruses
  • Flow cytometry data standardization and calibration methods
  • Shared resource laboratories
  • Flow cytometry biosafety