Cytometry and Cell Sorting Core Advanced Multi-Parameter Cytometry


Overall Aims Using CPRIT Core Facility Support Award (CPRIT-RP180672)


The Cytometry and Cell Sorting Core received a CPRIT Core Facility Support Award (CPRIT-RP180672) from the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) of $5,177,994 in 2018! This award will more than double the core’s capabilities in terms of simultaneous detection of markers on cells in suspension and tissue sections for cancer research over the next five years.

We are in the process of purchasing a Becton Dickinson FACSymphony that will allow the design of complex fluorophore-conjugated antibody panels to identify cell surface markers on tumor cells, their healthy counterparts, and cells of the tumor microenvironment.

We will also install a Fluidigm Helios mass cytometer capable of analyzing signaling pathways in single and rare cells within complex cell suspensions. The Helios will be equipped with a Hyperion imaging platform to allow the spatial identification and positioning of more than 30 markers on tumor and healthy tissue. The CCSC will establish a bank of metal-conjugated antibodies validated for use on the Helios and Hyperion will prevent duplication of metal-conjugation and validation efforts between users, reduce the cost of each experiment, and will allow users to share antibody panels.

Finally, we will setup a tissue culture facility within the CCSC to allow cancer researchers to perform assays on live cells using the existing analyzers and to culture cells immediately after sorting, enhancing the viability of fragile cells.


Expected Timeline

  • Year One (September 2018-August 2019): Renovate Space, purchase and Install Helios/Hyperion and BD FACS Symphony- Complete!
  • Year Two (September 2019-August 2020): Hire and train four new staff, and develop antibody bank and instrument protocols
  • Year Three-Five (September 2020-August 2023): Award advanced cytometry grants to promising cancer projects and open services to cancer research community

Current Progress


The Fluidigm Helios and Hyperion mass cytometer system has been purchased and installed in T219. This will allow analysis of metal tags in both single cell suspension as well as tissues. Instrument will begin QA/QC in July 2019.

The BD FACSymphony analyzer has also been purchased and installed in T219. This flow cytometer will allow for 30+ marker detection on a single cell. Instrument will begin QA/QC in July 2019.