South Campus Research Building 2, 4th Floor
Karen Clise-Dwyer, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Hemeatpoetic Biology & Malignancy Department (HBM)
Director, Advanced Cytometry & Sorting Facility at South Campus (ACSF)
Co-Director, Flow Cytometry & Cellular Imaging Facility
Karen Clise-Dwyer, Ph.D. directs all operations at the Advanced Cytometry & Sorting Facility at South Campus. Clise-Dwyer has twenty years experience with cytometry instrumentation and a wide array of applications, with particular interests in high-content multiparametric single cell analysis and sorting. Clise-Dwyer leads all planning, new instrumentation selection, personnel decisions, grant proposals and funding requests, resource use tracking, staff and client education, and determines SCFC budget allocations. The Advanced Cytometry & Sorting Facility at South Campus has grown rapidly while still maintaining very high (>92%) user satisfaction. Clise-Dwyer is a member of the International Society for the Advancement of Cytometry (ISAC) and is a former president of the regional cytometry user's group, FlowTex, a major source for cytometry education in the Texas Medical Center and beyond. Clise-Dwyer is always available to meet with core lab users and PIs upon request; Clise-Dwyer collaborates with and provides advice to many researchers throughout the MD Anderson community.
Karen Ramirez, B.S.
Ramirez 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, Ramirez has worked in the Advanced Cytometry & Sorting Facility at South Campus since 1992. Since that time, the core has grown significantly in terms of instrumentation, technical capabilities, and number of users served. Ramirez now manages the ACSF. She is responsible for operation of all instruments, management of consumables, verifying billing, training new staff and clients. She participates in staff selection and training, staff management activities, SOP development and other projects for the ACSF. Ramirez 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 Advanced Cytometry & Sorting Facility at South Campus.
David Dwyer, B.S., SCYM(ASCP)CM
Coordinator, Flow Cytometry Lab
Dwyer obtained his B.S. in biological sciences from the University of New Hampshire. After several years doing protein mutagenesis and purification, Dwyer has worked in immunology labs since 2002. His research has focused on CTL responses to melanoma, and investigation of the role of T-regulatory cells in the pathogenesis of cancer. In that capacity, he developed significant skills in flow cytometry experimental methods and data analysis. Since joining the core staff, he has expanded his skills and is now a cell sorting specialist. Dwyer joined the Core staff in March 2013.
Veena Papanna, M.S., SCYM(ASCP)CM
Coordinator, Flow Cytometry Lab
Papanna received her Master's degree in Microbiology from the University of Bangalore, India in 2002. She received an MBA in hospital management from USU Russia in 2015. She has more than 10 years of biomedical and immunology research experience including over 5 years of experience working in flow cytometry core facilities. Papanna received cytometry certification from ISAC in March 2015 and she has attended many hours of cytometry training provided by BD, ISAC, FloCyte, Leica, and Amnis. She has expertise in handling sorting and analysis flow cytometry assays and Amnis ImageStream experiments. Along with acquisition software she has knowledge of other analysis software including FlowJo, Kaluza, and FCS Express. She has been associated with the Core Facility since 2011.
Sarah Schneider, B.A., SCYM(ASCP)CM
Senior Flow Cytometry Specialist
Schneider earned her Bachelor's degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Clark University, where she was involved in research on the mechanisms of programmed necrosis. She first learned flow cytometry in 2012 at the Texas Heart Institute, where she characterized stem, progenitor, and immune cells in patients enrolled in cardiovascular stem cell therapy trials. Schneider joined the Advanced Cytometry & Sorting Facility at South Campus in 2015. Her work in the Core includes operation of cell sorters and analyzers, data analysis, development of user training modules, experimental design and troubleshooting, and website management. Schneider specializes in high-dimensional data analysis, and has knowledge of data analysis software including FlowJo, FCS Express, Kaluza, and Cytobank. She has received training from BD, ISAC, Verity Software House, ExCyte, Amnis, FCS Express, and Cytek. Schneider also sits on the Board of Directors for FlowTex, a regional cytometry user group.
Kathryn Cox, B.S., SCYM(ASCP)CM
Coordinator, Flow Cytometry Lab
Cox became a part-time member of the Advanced Cytometry & Sorting Facility at South Campus staff in June 2011. She has more than 14 years of experience doing cytometry experiments, and more than nine years of experience with mAb conjugations for Dr. Clise-Dwyer’s HBM lab. She is responsible for conjugating antibodies to fluorochromes for ACSF users and helps in the Core when needed. She consults with Core users regarding staining panels and FlowJo-based data analysis. She maintains an inventory of commonly used dyes for flow cytometry and prepares trial-size aliquots and assists users in designing staining panels for their experiments upon request. Cox also provides assistance with cell and analysis on sorters, analyzers, and FlowJo software. She dedicates 50% of her time to the Core Facility.
Will Ruiz Vazquez, B.S.
Research Assistant II
Ruiz Viazquez began his studies at the University of Puerto Rico in Humacao with his Bachelor's degree in Microbiology. Ruiz Vazquez has work experience in industrial setting at Amgen, where he worked on the purification of transgenic human proteins for therapy. He also has worked in a research setting at UT MD Anderson Cancer Center in the generation and isolation of a recombinant protein to stimulate NKT cells in vitro. Ruiz Vazquez joined the Advanced Cytometry & Sorting Facility at South Campus in 2021.
Born in Houston, Ramirez attends the University of Houston where he studies Biology. He joined the Advanced Cytometry & Sorting Facility at South Campus in June of 2018 as a Student Extern. He assists in cell sorting. Ramirez is very interested in learning about the instrumentation and basics of flow cytometry.