Inside MSK's Flow Cytometry Core Facility

VIDEO | 03:56

Go inside MSK’s Flow Cytometry Lab

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The flow cytometry core facility here at MSK provides cutting-edge instrumentation, as well as high-level scientific and technical expertise in flow cytometry in general.

The services that we provide here go from cell sorting analysis, consulting, data analysis, troubleshooting, and also training.

The equipment we have here in our core facility is completely state-of-the-art.

The morning routine here at the flow cytometry core facility starts roughly, at 8:30/ 9 o'clock, and we basically have one hour to set up all the instruments, do the fluidics cleaning and quality control checks, so that we make sure that the instruments are performing well for the researchers that typically arrive around 10 and start their experiments.

This is the BDFACSAria™ here at the flow cytometry core facility at SKI. This is an instrument that we use in the facility in order to utilize flow cytometry to physically isolate mixed populations of cells into pure populations. This technology can be used by researchers throughout SKI to aid them in their research for downstream applications such as cell culture, or sequencing applications.

The Cytek™ Aurora is a five-laser full spectrum flow cytometer that allows our users who are previously trained and able to operate the instrument independently to acquire flow cytometry data.  However, if they run into problems - both related to the instrument or the samples - we are here to troubleshoot, but also to provide our suggestions and advise for further improvements.

We make sure that not only do we have this cutting-edge instrumentation but we’re also looking out for new technologies and implementing the new technologies here so that the researchers have access to the best instruments in flow cytometry.

Training here in the flow cytometry core facility consists of the following: We have classes that we provide, and then we have the hands-on training on the instruments.

The classes consist on really teaching people the conceptual aspects of flow cytometry. And then once they have these concepts, we teach them to how to operate the actual instrument.

We provide a lot of training, not only to MSK researchers, but also outside to the whole world. And now with remote capabilities, it's very easy to provide training.

And we've had tremendous feedback from people around the world that have really acknowledged the fact that we are providing some of the best education and training in flow cytometry.

We don't focus only on the technical aspects of the instrumentation, which is very important, but we need also to bridge these technical aspects with the scientific questions.

I like to see my lab as resource scientists rather than instrument operators.

In terms of consultation, this is all about helping people plan their experiments, or helping them with data analysis. We're all about empowering the researchers in understanding how to apply flow cytometry techniques to their research.

The Dr. Phlow Kit is actually a very exciting thing that we came up with. We do a lot of small repairs to the instruments because we're very technically driven, and it's very important for these instruments to be operating at all times.

Instead of relying on [a] service engineer that may come tomorrow, we started putting together a set of tools, and whenever somebody has a problem with the instrument, there we go with this toolkit available to help anyone with any emergency.

Ultimately the flow cytometry core facility is here to support the scientists. And it plays a crucial role in cancer research at MSK.