Flow Cytometry

  • Remi Creusot, PhD
    • Director
  • Wei Wang, MD
    • Co-manager
  • Caisheng Lu, PhD
    • Co-manager

Flow cytometry has become the primary tool for the identification of cell populations according to specific parameters, and is therefore employed by an ever-growing number of biomedical scientists. The ability to design, perform and analyze data from multi-parametric flow cytometric experiments requires technical expertise but also immunological expertise to appropriately design the experiment.

The Flow Cytometry Shared Resource, operated jointly by the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Columbia Center for Translational Immunology (CCTI), provides training and access to state-of-the-art flow cytometry for biomedical investigators at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center. Among the many documented applications, characterization, and quantification of cells for surface protein, cytokine, intracellular transcription factor, and signaling molecules are the most common experiments performed in the flow cytometry core facility. The Flow core operates at two sites in the Medical Center, on the 17th floor of the Black Building/Physicians & Surgeons Building and the third floor of the ICRC building.

Please contact the facility managers for any issues regarding training, assistance, and access with flow including protocol design, instrument operation, data analysis, and troubleshooting. Additional information may be found at the CCTI Flow Cytometry website.

Visit the CCTI Flow Cytometry Website


Instrumentation

Analyzers

BD Fortessa

Features: 405, 488, and 633nm lasers, 14 colors
Location: PS17-514

BD Fortessa

Features: 405, 488, 561, and 633nm, 16 colors
Location: ICRC 333

BD LSRII

Features: UV, 405, 488, 532, 594, and 633nm lasers, 18 colors
Location: PS17-514

BD LSRII

Features: UV, 405, 488, and 633nm, 18 colors
Location: ICRC 333

BD FACSCanto II

Features: 405, 488, and 633nm lasers, 8 colors
Location: PS17-503

Cytek Aurora

Features: 405, 488, and 640nm lasers, 40 unique fluorochrome signatures, 12 fluorescent protein signatures
Location: PS17-503

Cell Sorters

BD Influx

Features: 405, 488, 561, and 633 lasers, 15 colors
Location: PS17-514

BD Influx

Features: 405, 488, 561, and 633 lasers, 15 colors
Location: PS17-503

BD Influx

Features: 405, 488, 561, and 633 lasers, 15 colors
Location: ICRC 301

Aria II

Features: 405, 488, 561, and 633 nm, 14 colors
Location: ICRC 312

Analysis Workstations

Workstations in PS17-503 and ICRC 333 with FCS Express, Flowjo, and Microsoft Office installed are available to all the core users for free. Please sign up through the iLab.

Flow Analysis Data Packages

FCS Express: Please contact Siu-Hong Ho (sh3056@columbia.edu) to set up a license. Training will be provided for free upon request.


Acknowledgements

As the recipient of four NIH awards, we are required to acknowledge the NIH funding source in all publications (manuscripts, abstracts, presentations, etc.). Please use the below wording in every publication which results from the use of the flow core instruments.

  • If you only use the CCTI LSRII: 
    • "Research reported in this publication was performed in the CCTI Flow Cytometry Core, supported in part by the Office of the Director, National Institutes of Health under awards S10RR027050. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health."
  • If you only use our Influx: 
    • "Research reported in this publication was performed in the CCTI Flow Cytometry Core, supported in part by the Office of the Director, National Institutes of Health under awards S10OD020056. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health."
  • If you are a Cancer Center member or use equipment at the ICRC site: 
    • "These studies used the resources of the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center Flow Cytometry Shared Resources funded in part through Center Grant P30CA013696."
  • If you are a DERC (Diabetes and Endocrinology Research Center) member: 
    • "These studies used the resources of the Diabetes and Endocrinology Research Center Flow Core Facility funded in part through Center Grant 5P30DK063608."

Investigators who do not comply with this NIH requirement may lose access to the core services. Please email us the Pubmed ID for the publication with the above acknowledgement.


Locations and Contacts

The Flow Cytometry facility has two sites:

CCTI site

Black Building 1710
650 W. 168th Street
Tel: (212) 304-5649

P&S Building 17-503
630 W. 168th Street
Tel: (212) 305-6562

HICCC Site

Irving Cancer Research Center
1130 St. Nicholas Avenue, Room 312 or 300ST4
Tel: (212) 851-4574; (212) 851-4950; (212) 851-4603

Contacts

Wei Wang, MD
Co-manager
Room ICRC 300ST4
Tel: 212-851-4950; 212-851-4603
Email: ww2351@cumc.columbia.edu

Caisheng Lu, MD, PhD
Co-manager
Room BB1706F
Tel: 212-605-6596
Email: cl3055@cumc.columbia.edu

Xiaotian Sun, PhD
Flow core scientist
Room ICRC 301
Tel: 212-851-4950
Email: xs2165@cumc.columbia.edu

Ching-Yuan Chen, PhD
Flow core scientist
Room PS17-514
Tel: 212-304-5649
Email: cc3538@cumc.columbia.edu

Sean Chen, MA
Staff associate
Room PS17-514
Tel:212-304-5649
Email: swc2107@cumc.columbia.edu

Jessie Fu, MSc
Staff associate
Room PS17-514
Tel: 212-304-5649
Email: jf2629@cumc.columbia.edu


User Fees and Policies

Use of Equipment

Email Siu-Hong Ho to discuss which instrument best fits the experiment and training will be arranged accordingly. If the user already has experience in operation of the instrument, a 5-10 minutes briefing sessions about the general maintenance of the analyzers would be given. Cell sorter is operated by dedicated core facility staff only. Please contact the core for generating the online instrument reservation account.

Reservations

For those who affiliate with the CCTI, Department of Medicine, DERC, SDRC, you can reserve our instrument 3 weeks in advance. Users from other departments can only reserve 48 hours in advance. All reservations are made through iLab. We define your affiliation based on the following:

  • CCTI faculty
  • Department of Medicine research faculty 
  • DERC research interest groups
  • Department of Dermatology research faculty
  • Cancer Center

If you don't find yourself among researchers listed in the above web pages, but you belong to one of the groups, please contact the core manager.

Data Policy

The flow core DOES NOT backup any data, and to facilitate the smooth operation of the Diva and other flow software, deletes all .fcs files and templates frequently WITHOUT prior notice. It is the SOLE responsibility of all flow core users to backup their data RIGHT AFTER the data acquisition. All users must temporarily save their data to the corresponding network drive (non-CCTI or HICCC data server). The network drive is for data transfer ONLY, not for storage (even 1 day), the user must back up the data IMMEDIATELY with their own device. The data in network drive are erased every few days, again, WITHOUT prior notice. Further instructions for the network drive can be found here.

Getting Started

  • Web-based theory session (2 hours) covers the principle of flow cytometry, components of flow cytometry (optics, fluidic, electronic), optical measurement, data analysis, and sorting.
  • Consultation session will be conducted on panel design and protocol suggestion.
  • Fluorofinder panel design web-based tool for CCTI/HICCC cytometers and instruction.
  • The hands-on session (2 hours) includes the instrument startup/shutdown, optical filter selection, software usage, PMT voltage adjustment, data storage, and troubleshooting.

User Fees

Instrument Regular Fee ($/hr) Cancer Center Member ($/hr)
Sorter (Aria and Influx)  65 65
LSRII (with UV) 60 58
Fortessa (without UV) 55 55
CantoII 50 45
Leica Microscope 25 25

 

The minimum charge for the analyzers is 30 minutes. The reservation time and actual usage are compared and longer duration would be charged. A fee of 100% is charged when the cancellation occurs less than 2 hours of the scheduled time. For Influx cell sorter, the minimum reservation is 1 hour. A fee of 100% is charged when the cancellation occurs less than 72 business hours beforehand.


Online Reservations

The Flow Cytometry Shared Resource uses the iLab Core Management System for service requests and billing. Before you can request services, you must log into iLab and be approved as a lab member.