Policies and Work Flow
The two sites are available to all MD Anderson users. Established and new users of the Shared Resource sign up via a SharePoint websites to reserve time for their experiments. Appointments for instrument use are available to all users on a first come-first served basis. New users discuss the specifics of their experiments with Core facility personnel prior to planning their experiments. Users perform fluorescent labeling for flow cytometry, cell sorting and microscopy. Core personnel perform cell imaging, flow cytometric analyses and cell sorting for users, assist with acquisition setup and/or provide training and troubleshooting assistance according to the skill levels of the individual users. Less experienced users and those starting to use new assays may need help with optimizing staining procedures and this is also provided by Core facility personnel. Data analysis is commonly done jointly between Core facility personnel and users. Training is available for more complex, time-consuming analysis. Some experienced users of the confocal microscopy and flow cytometric technology and sorting, conduct experiments late at night and on weekends, which serves to expand the capacity of the facility.
Facility personnel continuously provide training for users in a one-on-one setting. Users are trained in the principles of fluorescence, flow cytometry and microscopy as well as acquisition and analysis of flow cytometry or microscopy data on an individual basis.
Data Storage and Analysis
Both sites store all data on network-based systems whereby data is backed up to a server for a longer period of time, and then archived so that data can be made available for multiple years after acquisition. Workstations for post acquisition analysis are established in the facility for independent client access. Flow cytometry software available includes FlowJo, DiVa, Winlist, ModFit, Multicycle, FCS Express, WinMDI, Kaluza, CellQuestPro, CytoBank, and SPADE. Microscopy and image processing somware includes FluoView, SlideBook, SimplePCI, Attovision, Amnis IDEAS, Photoshop, ImageJ and Image Pro.
Unfixed human cells are handled according to guidelines established by the ISAC (International Society for the Advancement of Cytometry) biohazardous cell sorting recommendations. Each sorter that handles unfixed human cells is equipped with aerosol containment equipment and negative airflow to a HEPA filter to protect operators or nearby personnel from potential aerosol exposure.
Records of instrument use are generated from the SharePoint calendars both sites utilize. Hours are tabulated at the end of each month and submitted for IDT. MD Anderson users are required to provide an internal account number, which is debited within 90 days for each month’s use.