Training Services

The University Flow Cytometry Resource (UFCR) trains customers to run independently on a variety of analyzers. Training consists of online educational material going over the theory behind flow cytometry, followed by a lab practical and ending at a later date with a validation where the customer demonstrates instrument and flow cytometry competencies. For those interested in becoming independent users, please read the information in the first five sections of this page and submit the UFCR New Customer Form. You will be contacted within five business days following submission of the form. Information regarding training for the spectral cytometer or independent cell sorter operation or training policies can be found in the last five sections.

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Training Format

Four cytometer analyzer training slots are offered approximately every other week and consist of online educational materials and a lab practical. Within 2 months after completion of the lab practical, customers must complete a one-on-one validation appointment with UFCR staff utilizing self-prepared samples. The online educational materials consist of webinars and online references covering both theoretical and practical information about flow cytometric principles and technology. The lab session is limited to two students per session and is a practical exercise that utilizes fixed, fluorescent cells to conduct a mock set-up and experiment on an appropriate flow cytometer.

Cytometer Analyzer Training

This class only covers information relevant to the use of the current UFCR analyzers and should not be applied to other instrumentation. For information on the current roster of UFCR analyzers, please go to the Self-Serve Analyzers webpage.

Online Educational Materials

After enrollment in a lab session is confirmed with the customer, access to the UFCR Training folder in the UFCR Google Drive will be given to the customer. This folder contains links to online webinars and other educational material pertinent to flow cytometry, as well as documents useful while utilizing UFCR instrumentation.

Lab Practical

The lab practical consists of an overview of UFCR facilities, instrument fluidics and optics and the BD FACSDiva software, followed by a 4-fluorophore immunophenotyping assay using samples prepared by the UFCR. The practical is held in room 1-209 of the Cancer and Cardiovascular Research Building (CCRB 1-209) on a 3-laser BD LSR II analyzer.

One-On-One Validation

Following completion of the lab practical, trainees will be sent information on how to schedule their one-on-one validation with UFCR staff. The validation is the last step before trainees can become independent users. The validation is held in room 1-209 of the Cancer and Cardiovascular Research Building (CCRB 1-209) on the same 3-laser BD LSR II analyzer used for the lab practical and is customized to a specific application that the customer wishes to utilize an analyzer for.

Spectral Cytometer Training

The UFCR also houses a Cytek Aurora spectral cytometer in CCRB 1-209. This instrument has an Automated Sample Loader (ASL), which allows for high-throughput of 40-tube racks or 96-well plates (regular or deep). Operation of this spectral cytometer is similar to the UFCR's other analyzers but requires a brief training to go over any differences. Upon completion of the online educational materials, lab practical and one-on-one validation portions of training, customers may request and undergo a short, additional training to gain access to this instrument. Please submit the UFCR Aurora Training Request form if you are interested in using the Cytek Aurora.

Cell Sorter Operator Training

In October 2022, the UFCR launched a training program for self-operation of one of the UFCR cell sorter instruments. Currently, the program is in the beta testing phase with specific candidates. The current plan would be to expand this offering to other UFCR customers who express interest in this program. If you are interested in being added to the beta test, please contact us at [email protected].

Refresher Training

Expired customers and those previously trained by the UFCR who feel they need an instrumentation review should request refresher training. The refresher training repeats the final one-on-one session mentioned above and is charged at 50% of the full training fee. Please fill out a Training Validation form to request a refresher training session.

Training Expiration Policy

New customers who do not utilize UFCR instrumentation within the first six months following completion of cytometer analyzer training will have their account and access privileges suspended. The refresher training policies above will then apply.

Existing customers who do not utilize UFCR instrumentation for six months will also have their account and access privileges suspended. Re-activation will be assessed in consultation with UFCR staff.

Training Prioritization

Training priority is given to those customers who will primarily utilize UFCR-managed instrumentation for their flow cytometry needs. Training at internal rates will still be offered to University memebers who plan to use non-UFCR instrumentation, however for training such customers will be considered provisional and, in order of training request date, be notified of available training slot(s) 5 business days prior to the scheduled training. Notified customers will have one business day to accept that slot before it is offered to the next person in line.

New faculty requesting training will be required to communicate via email whether their group members will be primarily using UFCR instrumentation.  If yes is answered and such usage fails to occur, the faculty member will be contacted and potentially be considered provisional for all future training requests. If no is answered, all training requests will be considered provisional.