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The Flow Cytometry Shared Resource (FCSR) offers the full complement of instruments for cutting-edge flow, imaging and mass cytometry, sorting and analysis, small particle analysis, instrumentation for cellular metabolism, multiplex assays for quantification of soluble proteins such as cytokines, a cell counter, and a mass cytometer. FCSR also provides mass cytometry for single cell proteomic studies, as well as instrumentation for cellular metabolism studies and extracellular particle research.
Meet Our Team
Established in 1986, the Flow Cytometry Shared Resource (FCSR) at the University of Illinois Cancer Center (UICC) is led by Balaji Ganesh, PhD. In addition to high-end, technologically advanced instrumentation, the FCSR has expertise and a well-trained staff to support reliable and robust flow cytometry, mass cytometry, and imaging cytometry.
Balaji Ganesh, PhD, FCSR Director
Balaji Ganesh, PhD is an immunologist and flow cytometrist with more than 14 years of experience in the field. He has been extensively involved in the restructuring and merging of the sorting facilities at Rush University and UIC and established outreach programs with flow cytometry cores at the University of Chicago and Northwestern University. He is responsible for facility oversight and overall administrative and scientific direction of the facility (including application of techniques, user training, and support staff supervision).
Sara Puente, PhD, Research Specialist
Sara Puente is a research specialist with over five years of research experience in flow cytometry. She has extensive experience in measuring reactive oxygen species via flow cytometry in blood and tissues associated with various disease states. In her role, Puente is provides training on implementation of specialized techniques using flow cytometry.
Suresh Ramasamy, MS, Research Specialist
Suresh is a research specialist with more than five years of hands-on experience with flow cytometry, cell sorting, and mass cytometry. He is responsible for the day-to-day management, scheduling, troubleshooting, data collection, and analysis of CyTOF data. His expertise in mass cytometry enables him to assist investigators in the use of CyTOF technology.
Wei Feng, MS, Research Specialist
Wei’s background is in basic biology and she came to the FCSR with nine years of flow cytometry and cell sorting experience, specifically with hematopoietic stem cells. Feng helps to develop cutting-edge flow cytometric techniques and provides day-to-day management of the cell sorters including scheduling, troubleshooting, data collection, and analysis.
FCSR Major Services
The FCSR offers multiple services including flow cytometry analysis on bench-top flow cytometers, cutting-edge mass and imaging cytometers, high-speed cell sorting, experimental design, and data analysis.
- Free of charge consultations regarding experimental design, reagent and protocol optimization, and cost estimates
- Grant writing support
- Contributions to manuscripts
- Letters of support
We provide assisted acquisition and data analysis services for UICC users who desire expert acquisition and analysis of samples, particularly for complex, multi-parametric assays. This includes quality control setting up of voltages and gains by the FCSR staff, as well as data analysis using available software.
Education and Training Services
The FCSR, along with the Graduate Education of Medical Sciences, has initiated a 14-hour course on immunological methods that focuses on flow cytometry theory and hands-on instrument use. Lecture hours are devoted to immunological reagents and the theory behind flow cytometry and other related techniques, followed by sample preparation and data acquisition and data analysis. Dissemination of information by the FCSR also occurs through regular events such as seminars and workshops.
For unassisted use, training is provided in the use of the flow cytometers in the facility. A minimum of three hours of training is provided to each user before being granted independent access to the instrument. Training is always on a one-on-one basis to ensure focus and quality.
Technologies and Equipment
- Mass Cytometer: Fluidigm mass cytometer (CyTOF 2, recently upgraded to Helios)
- Bench-top Flow Cytometers (5, including two 13-color instruments with high-throughput plate readers)
- Becton Dickinson Fortessa Analytical Flow Cytometer: Four lasers (488nm, 405nm, 561nm, 635nm), 15-parameter detection, high-throughput plate reader
- Beckman Coulter (BC) Cytoflex S: Four lasers (488nm, 405nm, 561nm, 640nm), 15-parameter detection, high-throughput plate reader
- BC Gallios: Three lasers (488nm, 405nm, 635nm), 12-parameter detection, high-throughput tube reader
- BC CyAN ADP (2): Two Cyan ADPs with three lasers (488nm, 405nm, 635nm), 11- parameter detection
- Imaging Cytometer: Amnis Imagestream with three lasers (488nm, 642nm and 405nm)
- BC MoFlo Astrios: Five lasers (365nm, 488nm, 405nm, 561nm and 640nm), 18-color and six-way sorting capability seated in a BSL-2 laminar hood and bio-contained in accordance with the biosafety guidelines of NIH and ISAC; Summit v6.2 software
- BC MoFlo Astrios EQ: Four lasers (488nm, 405nm, 561nm and 640nm), 13-color and six-way sorting capability seated in a BSL-2 laminar hood and bio-contained in accordance with the biosafety guidelines of NIH and ISAC; Summit v6.2 software. The instrument is equipped with two FSC PMTs to visualize and sort small particles such as extracellular vesicles.
Extracellular Vesicle/small Particle Research
- Nanosight NS300- 488nm (detection of particles between 20-2000nm)
- Zeta sizer Nano series
- Bio-Rad Bio-Plex (for measuring cytokines, phosphoproteins from serum, supernatant, BAL, etc.)
- SpectraMax M2 microplate/cuvette reader for Spectrophotometer, fluorescence intensity UV/Vis absorbance
Agilent Sea Horse XF e96 to measure oxygen consumption rate (OCR) and extracellular acidification rate (ECAR) of live cells in a 96-well plate format
Vi-Cell XR Cell Counter (Automated Cell counting using Trypan Blue)
Data Analysis Platforms