Flow Cytometry Shared Service

Director: Ferenc Livak, M.D.


The mission of the Flow Cytometry Shared Service (FCSS) is to offer equipment and technical expertise to members of UMGCC conducting research in cancer biology and other areas of basic and applied biomedical science. The facility provides full-scale, state-of-the-art flow cytometry services, including sample acquisition, data analysis, fluorescent cell sorting, experimental planning, and pre- and postexperimental consultation in support of NCI-sponsored research. The FCSS also assists investigators in the flow cytometry components of pilot grants supported by the NCI P30 funding, provides training on analytical instruments to users to perform independent sample acquisition and data analysis, and is committed to the dissemination of novel flow cytometry–based technologies through continuous education of the Cancer Center community.

Impact to the Cancer Center

The FCSS has proved to be indispensable to the scientific endeavors of the Cancer Center by supporting over 50 UMGCC labs (out of more than 70 labs) and contributing to more than 90 peer-reviewed publications in the past 5 years. It has had an impact on both clinical and basic science projects, with basic biomedical research remaining the main target of support. The specific aims of the FCSS are enumerated in the next section.

Specific Aims

  1. Provide state-of-the-art instrumentation for flow cytometry sample acquisition, data analysis, and high-throughput sample acquisition using three instruments: a Becton Dickinson LSR II cytometer equipped with a high-throughput sampler, a FACSCanto II, and a FACScan.
  2. Perform high-speed, sterile, and single-cell fluorescence cell sorting. A combination of dedicated space, two high-speed FACSAria cell sorters, and an NIH-approved bioBUBBLE Benchtop Biocontainment Enclosure on a FACSAria II cell sorter makes the FCSS fully compliant with NIH guidelines for enhanced BSL-2–level sorting of human cells, nonhuman primate cells, and retrovirus- or lentivirus-infected samples.
  3. Provide training on analytical instruments for sample acquisition and access to analyzers and software for data analysis.
  4. Offer UMGCC members educational resources, consultation, and training opportunities to increase their ability to more effectively integrate flow cytometry methodologies into their research programs.

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