To facilitate cutting-edge research, the University of Illinois Cancer Center has been pleased to provide its members not only access to, but also a subsidy for, four Lab Shared Resources within the Research Resource Center (RRC). One of these resources is Flow Cytometry Service (FCS), headed by Academic Director Zhijian Qian, PhD.
Flow cytometry is a method used to measure relative size, granularity, and fluorescence of single cells in a population of cells suspended in a liquid medium. It allows simultaneous multi-parametric analysis of the physical and chemical traits of microscopic particles. It is essential in both research and clinical practice. Various uses of flow cytometry consist of measurements of auto fluorescent proteins, antigen or ligand density, apoptosis, enzyme activity, DNA and RNA content, membrane potential, cytokine receptors and its synthesis, drug uptake and efflux, phagocytosis and viability obtained from cells, isolated nuclei, organelles or microorganisms. Changes in cell cycle, intracellular pH, intracellular calcium, intracellular glutathione and oxidative burst can be also detected with these instruments.
According to Academic Director Qian: “The technology has broad applications in medicine. The FCS is significantly helpful to researchers in a wide array of medical fields specifically cell biology, molecular biology and pathology. For the Cancer Center, this service is a vital tool in hematology, tumor immunology, chemotherapy and genetics.”
A fully-operational center that includes a traditional cell sorter: the Beckman-Coulter Elite ESP; a high speed sorter: the Beckman Coulter Legacy MoFlo; and a Bio-Rad Bio-Plex flow cytometer, the FCS also includes four bench-top flow cytometers (used strictly as analyzers), a multiplex analyzer, a cell counter, and a magnetic bead sorter that is often used as a pre-sorter of rare cells before sorting for greater purity on one of the sorting flow cytometers. (see table below for full list of instruments). The FCS also provides consultation and project planning for researchers, and this valuable service is also available to Cancer Center members.
Utilizing this resource is a simple process and we strongly encourage members to take advantage of this benefit of membership. The FCS has an online scheduling system that allows users to place reservations on specific instruments, as well as a sample submission form. The FCS is located on the west campus in the Medical Sciences Buildings (MSB), Rooms E-25 and E-20. Hours are by appointment.
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Leadership Spotlight: Zhijian Qian, PhD, Academic Director of Flow Cytometry
Zhijian Qian, PhD, has been Academic Director of Flow Cytometry since last April. He is a member of the Cancer Cell Signaling Program, and he is interested in the molecular pathways involved in the development of malignant hematological diseases. His research is focused on the biology of myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and therapy-related MDS (t-MDS), with emphasis on studying molecular events during the initiation of transformation of a normal stem or progenitor cell into a leukemia-initiating cell (LIC). His goal is to determine the genetic pathways that control the proliferation, survival and self-renewal of normal or leukemic hematopoietic stem cells by genetic and genomic approaches.
Dr. Qian received his doctoral degree in Cell and Molecular Biology from Shanghai Institute of Cell Biology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He held a research faculty appointment at the University of Chicago’s Hematology/Oncology section before joining UIC in 2010.
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research that focuses on the role in the termination of DNA damage response and sensitizing tumor cells to chemotherapy as well as FoxM1’s role in tumor metastasis; and teaching that includes his supervision of four students who assist in his lab investigations.
Cancer Center Director Howard Ozer, MD, PhD, states: “The prize is immensely well-deserved. We are proud and fortunate that the Cancer Center has a researcher like Pradip in our midst. We are particularly grateful for his active focus on maintaining collaborations with other Cancer Center members.”
“We are delighted that Pradip's scientific contributions in the field of cell cycle control and cancer biology have been recognized by this prestigious University award. His efforts as a mentor and active researcher are widely appreciated in the UI Cancer Center community,” remarks Jack Kaplan, PhD, FRS, Professor and Head of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics and the Cancer Center’s Associate Director for Basic Sciences.
Angela Tyner, Cancer Cell Signaling Program Leader, adds: "Pradip is a wonderful colleague and well deserving of this recognition. His accomplishments in enhancing our understanding of molecular mechanisms underlying cancer, particularly his work on Damaged-DNA Binding Protein-2 (DDB2) and the transcription factor FoxM1, have earned him international recognition."
Pradip Raychaudhuri is Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics in the College of Medicine and a member of the Cancer Cell Signaling Program. Hebegan his career at UIC in 1990 and was immediately involved with cancer research. He has participated actively in the Cancer Center, serving from 2008-2010 as Program Leader for the Cancer Cell Signaling Program (then named Tumor Cell Biology).
He is the Senior Associate Dean for Research and Head of Cancer Biology and Pharmacology at the Peoria campus and a member of the Cancer Cell Signaling Program.
M3 car that was co-driven by Al Carter and Hugh Plumb at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. Carter, Plumb, and Joe McDonough, co-founder of B+ Foundation, all work to raise awareness for pediatric cancer. The donation benefits the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) Clinical Trials Program at the Children’s Hospital University of Illinois, and other medical centers. Schmidt is Associate Professor of Pediatrics and a member of the Cancer Targeting, Therapeutics and Imaging Program.