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Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center

Houston, Texas

BCM has 25 departments and more than 90 research and patient-care centers.
Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center
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Flow Cytometry Shared Resource

(Christine Beeton, Ph.D., Academic Director; Joel M. Sederstrom, M.S., Co-Director)

Mission

Flow cytometry has been integral to the research of cancer biologists for more than four decades. This technology continues to develop at a rapid pace, especially with the advent of novel fluorescent assays and reagents, increased computational capacity and cost-effective optical equipment. Thus, our mission is to enable cutting-edge cancer research by providing state-of-the-art instrumentation, exceptional expertise and training in flow cytometry.

Services & Instrumentation

The Flow Cytometry Shared Resource provides training, instrumentation and operator-assistance for multi-parameter cellular analysis to members of the Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center and the Texas Children's Cancer Center.

Flow cytometry enables the analysis and purification of distinct cell populations based on marker expression, including genetically encoded fluorescent proteins. Cancer Center members rely on flow cytometry to elucidate mechanisms of tumor suppressor and oncogenes, cell cycle progression, transforming viruses and to evaluate currently prescribed cancer therapies. This technology is also integral to studies of cancer stem cells, angiogenesis, transcriptional regulation in tumor cells and mechanisms of DNA break and repair. Our instruments are capable of discriminating cell populations based on up to 18 parameters.

The Shared Resource offers technician-assisted flow cytometry at two locations in the Texas Medical Center, Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital. Most of our instruments are user-friendly so that they can be operated by trained end-users. This allows us to offer user-operated cytometry at significantly reduced rates to increase the cost effectiveness of research. Our services, instruments and their locations include:

Flow Cytometric Cell Sorting

Our facilities house four cell sorters for research use. These sorters are configured with forward- and side-scatter detectors, as well as the laser combinations listed below. Operator-assisted sorting is available on all instruments. Additionally, the FACS Arias can be operated by trained end-users for after-hours and reduced-rate sorting.

1. BD FACS Ariallu (BCM)
• UV (355 nm), violet (405 nm), blue (488 nm) & red (633 nm) lasers
• 14-color sorting
• Forward scatter photomultiplier tube (enables sorting small particles, including prokaryotic cells)
• Capable of sorting into tubes, multi-well plates or slides

2. BD FACS AriaII (BCM)
• UV (355 nm), violet (405 nm), blue (488 nm), yellow-green (561 nm) & red (633 nm) lasers
• 16-color sorting
• Forward scatter photomultiplier tube (enables sorting small particles, including prokaryotic cells)
• Capable of sorting into tubes, multi-well plates or slides
*Purchased on behalf of the Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center by the Diana Helis Henry Medical Research Foundation.

3. BD FACS Ariallu(BCM)
• Near UV (375 nm), OR violet (405 nm), blue (488 nm) & red (633 nm) lasers
• 9-color sorting
• Capable of sorting into tubes, multi-well plates or slides

4. Cytomation MoFlo sorters (TCH)
• UV (355 nm), blue (488 nm) & red (633 nm) lasers
• 8-color sorting
• Sort up to four populations into tubes at a rate of >25,000 cells/s

Flow cytometric analysis

Our facilities are equipped with six cell analyzers for research use. These instruments are configured with forward- and side-scatter detectors, as well as the laser combinations listed below. Biological samples can be analyzed by the Shared Resource staff or by trained end-users.

1. BD LSR Fortessa* (5-laser system; BCM)
• UV (355 nm), violet (405 nm), blue (488 nm), yellow-green (561 nm) & red (640 nm) lasers
• 18-color analysis
• Forward scatter photomultiplier tube (enables sorting small particles, including prokaryotic cells)
• High-throughout system can use 96 or 384 well plates
*Purchased through NIH NCRR grant #S10 RR024574

2. BD LSRII (5-laser system; TCH)
• UV (355 nm), violet (405 nm), blue (488 nm), yellow-green (561 nm) & red (633 nm) lasers
• 17-parameter analysis
• Forward scatter photomultiplier tube (enables sorting small particles, including prokaryotic cells)

3. BD LSRII (4-laser system; BCM)
• UV (355 nm), violet (405 nm), blue (488 nm) & red (633 nm) lasers
• 12-color analysis
• High-throughout system can use 96 or 384 well plates

4. BD LSRII (4-laser system; BCM)
• UV (355 nm), violet (405 nm), blue (488 nm) & red (633 nm) lasers
• 12-color analysis
• high-throughput system can use 96 or 384 well plates

5. BD FACSCanto II (2-laser system; BCM)
• Blue (488 nm) & red (633 nm) lasers
• 8-color analysis

6. Life Technologies Attune (2-laser system; BCM)
• violet (405 nm), and blue (488 nm) lasers
• 6-color analysis
• high-throughput system can use 96 or 384 well plates
• acoustic focusing for better resolution

7. BD FACScan (TCH)
• Blue (488 nm) laser
• 3-color analysis

Magnetic cell separation (BCM)

The Miltenyi AutoMACS is an automated magnetic cell sorter equipped with settings for sensitive cells, increased cell purities or increased cell yields.

Automated viability/cell counting (BCM)

A Beckman-Coulter Vi-CELL, located in the BCM facility, uses trypan blue exclusion to automatically stain and count cells, as well as assess cell size and viability for up to twelve samples simultaneously.

GentleMACS-Octo Tissue Dissociator: (BCM)

The GentleMACS is a tissue dissociator used for the semi-automated and standardized tissue dissociation or hemogenization of up to eight samples at a time. There are pre-set programs that can be used as well as theh option to optimize programs for different tissue types.

Data analysis & management

The Shared Resource provides dedicated workstations running data analysis software for advanced computer modeling of cytometry datasets (FACS Diva, FlowJo, Modfit LT). Our facilities are also equipped with dedicated servers for data management and archiving.

FlowJo data analysis software site licenses are available to Cancer Center members through the Shared Resource. To request a site license, e-mail sederstr@bcm.edu

Consultation and Training Services

To ensure optimal use of services, we provide experimental design consultations, user training and sample preparation protocols for flow analysis and cell sorting.

Request a consultation
- at TCH by e-mailing axgaikwa@txch.org
- at BCM by e-mailing ccsc@bcm.edu.

Flow analyzer training course

This three-day training course consists of a three-hour lecture on flow cytometry basics, instrument anatomy, use and acquisition software, followed by a ‘hands-on’ lab practical.
Courses are typically offered twice a month. Cancer Center members are given preferred access to these classes. Please email ccsc@bcm.edu for training.

Flow Cytometric Sort Training

Advanced users can obtain training to operate the FACS Aria cell sorters, which allows them to sort without assistance at reduced rates and after hours. Training consists of 5–7sessions of operation supervised by the Shared Resource staff. In these sessions, users learn instrument start up and quality control assessments. They then create a sorting experiment, sort their own samples, verify results and shut down the instrument. Please e-mail ccsc@bcm.edu to request training.

Charge back fees & forms

Pricing

New Users - Two easy steps to register as a new user

  1. Complete the CCSC User Form. Email to ccsc@bcm.edu, scan and fax to 713-798-9009 or bring it by T103.
  2. Register as a user on our online calendar

Questions or concerns? E-mail us at ccsc@bcm.edu.

Additional Forms:

FlowJo site license form

Scheduling appointments

BCM Facility:

  • Users can book appointments (assisted and unassisted) through our online calendar, or by contacting us at ccsc@bcm.edu or 713-798-3868.
  • The facility is available to trained users 24-hour/7-day a week via key-card access. Operator-assisted sorting and analysis is available 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., Monday–Friday.

TCH Facility:

  • To schedule appointments, call 832-824-4731. 

  • Appointments are available Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
 Earlier appointments are available with the approval of the technical supervisor. Please e-mail axgaikwa@txch.org to request.

Personnel

Christine Beeton, Ph.D.
Academic Director, DLDCC Flow Cytometry Shared Resource
Assistant Professor, Department of Molecular Physiology & Biophysics
Phone: 713-798-5030
E-mail: beeton@bcm.edu

Joel M. Sederstrom, MS
Core Director, DLDCC Flow Cytometry Shared Resource
Director, BCM Cytometry and Cell Sorting Core
Phone: 713-798-3774
E-mail: sederstrom@bcm.edu

Amos Gaikwad, M.S., Ph.D.
Technical Supervisor, TCH Flow Cytometry Laboratory
Phone: 832-824-4814
E-mail: axgaikwa@txch.org

Amanda White, BS
Lab Manager, BCM Cytometry and Cell Sorting Core
Phone: 713-798-3868

E-mail: anwhite@bcm.edu

Brandon Sazton, MS
Cytometry Technologist II, BCM Cytometry and Cell Sorting Core
Phone: 713-798-3868
E-mail: saxton@bcm.edu

Erin Leishman, BS
Cytometry Technologist I, BCM Cytometry and Cell Sorting Core
Phone: 713-798-3868
E-mail: eecox@bcm.edu

Physical Locations

Cytometry and Cell Sorting Core Facility at Baylor College of Medicine
BCM Taub 103, 105; DeBakey 901, 902, 903
One Baylor Plaza Houston, TX 77030-3411
Web site: www.bcm.edu/flowcytometry

Flow Cytometry Core Laboratory at Texas Children's Cancer Center
Feigin Center 10th Fl, Ste 1025.16

Texas Children's Hospital 

1102 Bates St. 
Houston, TX 77030


Web site:http:www.txch.org/for-professionals/core-lab-services/flow-cytometry-core/

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