In a basement lab at the Medical Sciences building sits an unassuming yet powerful orange and gray machine – 1 of only 2 like it in Chicago – capable of quantifying multiple proteins on and in a single cell.
Called CyTOF2 – short for “cytometry by time of flight” – this mass cytometer is part of the University of Illinois Cancer Center’s Flow Cytometry Shared Resource (FCSR), 1 of 6 shared resources available to Cancer Center members and others—including researchers outside the University of Illinois Chicago—to assist in their research.
Immunologist Balaji Ganesh, PhD, the FCSR director, wants to spread the word about this “valuable tool that’s available” to perform high dimensional analysis of cells using reagents, which are metal-tagged antibodies designed to bind with specific markers on the cells.
In fact, researchers don’t even need to operate the pricey machine. They can drop off their prepared samples for Ganesh and his team to run the high volume of tests researchers might require for their work in tumor immunology and stem cell biology.
Access to this kind of cutting-edge mass and imaging cytometers is just one part of what FCSR offers. Other services include flow cytometry analysis on bench-top flow cytometers including spectral flow cytometry, high-speed cell sorting, multiplexing for detection of soluble proteins, study of extra-cellular particles including exosomes, as well as experimental design and data analysis.
While fees for FCSR services vary, Ganesh’s group offers free consultations on experimental design, reagent and protocol optimization, and cost estimates. Grant writing support, contributions to manuscripts, and letters of support also are available.