Flow Cytometry, Mass Cytometry, Cell Sorting, and Imaging are essential tools for a wide range of methodologies aimed at understanding complex single cell proteomic and genomic cancer research. The instrumentation involved is large, complex, and can be difficult to maintain and operate. As such, a targeted core facility is critical for a Comprehensive Cancer Center such as MD Anderson. The FCCIF, est. 1982, provides these services. Since the last CCSG renewal (2012) 404 cancer center members from all 16 cancer center programs have used the facility and produced 604 publications. Many of the hot topics in cancer biology currently stem from immune cell interaction with the tumor cell; immunephenotyping is an in demand field of research that requiring a unique high plex assay. This requires a specialized imaging or cytometry approach and the FCCIF has specifically acquired two different platforms because of their diversity and flexibility. These platforms are the Vectra Multispectral imaging system and the CyTOF (suspension and imaging) Mass Cytometers. The FCCIF provides a common source of state-of-the-art expertise and technical skills to support the varied research efforts of MD Anderson investigators. The FCCIF provides a comprehensive service to all of the institutional investigators regardless of prior expertise. Dr. Jared K. Burks (author of this R50, co-Director of the FCCIF-NC) provides critical services including: 1) education, 2) consultation on needed technological approach, 3) training on equipment use, analytics, and proper experimental design. I identify and acquire novel technologies for use by MDACC investigators and I provide support in a manner to ensure success and mitigate pitfalls. I am expected to develop new strategies and technologies to meet the research needs of our faculty. A few examples of what I have currently been working on is the Vectra Polaris Multispectral Microscope, Helios and Hyperion Suspension and Imaging CyTOFs. The Polaris has operated on average 13.5 hours per day for the last year. The CyTOFs are reporting 5090% growth since the last CCSG renewal. These results stem from mitigating the pitfalls, making the technologies approachable and affordable, and supporting the researchers throughout the process all the way to publication. Collaborations, both academic and industry, have resulted to develop or test novel applications. The models we have created to support these technologies have and will continue to be shared with others operating the technologies. We are highly involved with both developing and standardizing new technologies for use at MD Anderson and with our facilities and researchers implementing them worldwide.

Public Health Relevance

Flow Cytometry, Cell Sorting, Imaging, and Mass Cytometry are essential tools for a wide range of methodologies aimed at understanding complex single cell proteomic and genomic cancer research. Dr. Jared K. Burks, the co- Director of the Flow Cytometry and Cellular Imaging Facility ? North Campus at MD Anderson Cancer Center, identifies, acquires, and develops cutting-edge single cell technologies in support of the cancer research performed at MD Anderson. Technologies, including Akoya Biosciences Vectra Polaris featuring Phenotics 2.0, Fluidigm Helios Suspension Mass Cytometer and Hyperion Imaging Mass Cytometer (IMC), are being assessed, refined, standardized and expanded for use at MD Anderson and for researchers worldwide.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZCA1)
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Amin, Anowarul
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University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Internal Medicine/Medicine
United States
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