South Campus Faculty and Staff
From left: Kunal Mandal, Karen Ramirez, Karen Clise-Dwyer, Kim Acklin, Veena Papanna, Kathryn Ruissard
South Campus (SCRB I)
Karen Clise-Dwyer, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Stem Cell Transplantation & Cellular Therapies
Director, SCRB Flow Cytometry & Cell Sorting Core Facility
Co-Director, Flow Cytometry & Cellular Imaging Facility
Dr. Clise-Dwyer obtained her Ph.D. in biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studied the effects of a BAFF-R mutation on development of immunity. While in graduate school, she developed her interest in instrumentation & flow cytometry. She was the first client of the UW-Madison Flow Core to learn to operate and troubleshoot the multi-laser BD FACS Vantage and Digital Vantage DiVa cell sorters. When the UW-Madison Core Facility beta-tested the DiVa digital upgrade system in 2001, Dr. Clise-Dwyer was heavily involved in that effort. She did postdoctoral research at the Trudeau Institute, studying the effects of aging on lymphocyte development before joining the FCCIF-NC as a Research Scientist in 2006, where she collaborated with researchers to develop cytometry and confocal imaging assays. In the 20 months she worked at the FCCIF-NC, she developed her confocal and widefield cell imaging skills. In 2008, Dr. Clise-Dwyer was recruited to direct operations at the FCCIF-SC. She leads all planning, new instrumentation selection, personnel decisions, grant proposals and funding requests, resource use tracking, staff and client education, finalizes monthly billing and determines FCCIF-SC budget allocations. The FCCIF-SC has grown rapidly while still maintaining very high (>92%) user satisfaction. Dr. Clise-Dwyer is a member of the International Society for the Advancement of Cytometry (ISAC) and is President of the regional cytometry user's group, FlowTex, a major source for cytometry education in the Texas Medical Center and beyond.
Karen Ramirez, B.S.
Karen has been involved in Flow Cytometry since 1983. She has worked in clinical research labs and in product development and technical support in the flow cytometry industry. At MD Anderson, Karen has worked in the South Campus Flow Cytometry Core since 1992. Since that time, the core has grown significantly in terms of instrumentation, technical capabilities, and number of users served. Karen now manages the FCCIF-SC. She is responsible for operation of all instruments, management of consumables, verifying billing, training new staff & clients. She participates in staff selection and training, staff management activities, SOP development and other projects for the FCCIF-SC. Karen has been involved in teaching Flow Cytometry concepts and techniques to numerous undergraduates, summer students, graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and visiting scientists. She is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the South Campus Flow Cytometry Core.
Kimberlyn Acklin, M.S.
Coordinator, Flow Cytometry Lab
Kim is the lab’s first certified cytometry expert, having passed the ISAC/iCCS certification in cytometry in December 2012. Kim has over six years of diverse scientific and flow cytometry-based research experience. She began her employment with MD Anderson November 2008. She has attended many hours of cytometry training provided by ISAC, FloCyte, FlowJo, and BD, and Sony and is proficient in cell sorting and analysis of determined parameters, including, cell structure, protein expression, localization, and modifications, cell surface and intracellular antigens, and cell health and viability. Kim is also skilled in the use of flow cytometry analysis software including DIVA, FlowJo, and FCS Express.
Kunal Mandal, B.S., CHT
Senior Flow Cytometry Specialist
Kunal has over six years of clinical and research based flow cytometry experience and has been a member of the MD Anderson South Campus Flow Cytometry Core since September 2011. Kunal is a certified histocompatability technologist, and previously worked in Chicago at Northwestern University in clinical transplant immunology in support of Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s Solid Organ Transplant Program. Prior to joining Northwestern, Kunal worked for the University of Colorado at ClinImmune Labs in support of several solid organ and bone marrow transplant centers across the country. His experience includes flow cytometry, luminex and ELISA antibody monitoring, PCR, DNA sequencing, instrument and reagent QC, as well as clinical reporting, and SOP generation.
Veena Papanna, M.S.
Flow Cytometry Specialist
Veena has worked in a research laboratory setting since 2004 and been at MD Anderson since 2008. She joined the staff in the South Campus Flow Cytometry Core in December 2011. Her experience includes Flow Cytometry, Confocal Microscopy, Histology, Cell Culture, PCR assays and small animal handling.
Kathryn Ruisaard, B.S.
Kathryn became a part-time member of the FCCIF-SC staff in June 2011. She has more than seven years of experience doing cytometry experiments, and more than five years of experience with mAb conjugations for Dr. Clise-Dwyer’s Stem Cell Transplantation research lab. She is responsible for conjugating antibodies to fluorochromes for FCCIF-SC users and helps in the Core when needed. She consults with Core users regarding staining panels & FlowJo-based data analysis. She maintains an inventory of commonly used dyes for Flow Cytometry and prepares trial-size aliquots and assist users in designing staining panels for their experiments upon request.Kathryn also provides assistance with cell and analysis on sorters, analyzers, and FlowJo software. She dedicates 50% of her time to the the Core Facility.
Lisa St. John, Ph.D.
Laboratory & Research Supervisor
Lisa has been using multicolor flow cyometry in her transplantation immunology research for nearly 15 years. She offers consultation services to Core Users, primarily for immune functional assays and does all FCCIF-SC ordering. She dedicates 20% of her time to the the Core Facility.
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