MRI: Acquisition of a Fluorescence-Activated Cell Sorter for Multidisciplinary Research and Teaching at Central Michigan University

Grant Details


An award is made to Central Michigan University to purchase a fluorescence-activated cell sorter (FACS). A FACS instrument measures multiple physical characteristics of single cells as they flow in a fluid stream one cell at a time past a point of measurement. Thousands of cells per second are passed through one or more laser beams and the light that is emitted or scattered from the cell is detected. The system converts the detected light signals into electronic signals that are processed by a computer software program. Cell properties that can be measured include number, size, shape, and fluorescence intensity. A FACS can also sort cells into different populations based on these properties. The acquisition of a FACS will make a substantial improvement in the ability of faculty at CMU to conduct leading-edge research. The FACS will be used by at least 21 faculty from the Biology, Chemistry, and Psychology Departments and the College of Medicine. The faculty users will use the FACS in many diverse research projects ranging from assessing the microbial diversity of the Great Lakes to producing stem cells for transplantation into brains of animals.

The acquisition of the FACS will also direct the training of the next generation of scientists by providing access to state-of-the-art equipment. It is estimated that 35 students/year will be trained to use the FACS through faculty-directed research projects. In addition, several of the faculty users serve as research mentors for undergraduate students participating in programs that are designed to increase the diversity of students pursuing careers in biological research. Many more students will be exposed to the FACS through coursework. The PI and co-PIs will develop a short course on FACS technologies available to faculty and students interested in utilizing the instrument for research. In addition, there are several current 500-level Biology and Neuroscience courses servicing both undergraduates and graduate students in which laboratory exercises using flow cytometry and cell sorting will be incorporated. The FACS will potentially benefit society through research projects that assess and protect the environmental health of the Great Lakes, further our knowledge of basic cellular processes, and understand brain function.

Effective start/end date09/1/1308/31/17


  • National Science Foundation: $415,199.00


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