Facility Mission

The primary mission of the facility is in line with the NSF grant and Chicago State University mission with the major goal of supporting research, teaching, curriculum improvement, and professional development in the Department of Biological Sciences at Chicago State University. The FACS system allows the users to identify and sort subpopulations of cells based on natural or experimentally introduced parameters that include cell-surface molecules, genetic content, and general cell shape and size. Supplementary microscopy is also available in the director's lab and in the Department of Biological sciences.

Facility goals

  1. To undertake the four grant projects proposed for the NSF grant award which entails performing the necessary sorting of mammalian gut mucosa and immune cells (Drs Walid Al-Ghoul and Kevin Swier) protozoa (Dr Andrew Maselli), and plant protoplasts (Dr Devi Poturi) for the purpose of determining cellular mechanisms associated with the intestinal mucosa barrier, host-pathogen interactions, cell vesicle traffic, and environmental conservation and crop improvement.
  2. To disseminate the research findings and knowledge using the flow cytometry facility by faculty and their students, thus assuring that the acquisition of a FACSaria instrument will have a major impact on the research exploration and training environment at Chicago State University, bringing it to a level that is more compatible with current standards in research and training.
  3. To enhance Chicago State University's infrastructure needed for teaching, curriculum improvement, and professional development. Thus, the facility is expected to play a central role in expanding inquiry-based learning, fostering student collaborations, and providing valuable hands-on experience with advanced technology. This is certain to advance the level and quality of instruction in courses taught or designed by the PI and co-PI's which span the fields of cell biology, parasitology, immunology, physiology, pathology, botany, and microbiology.
  4. To design hands-on workshops and training grants that are also expected to benefit from the FACS system.
  5. To support Chicago State University mission, and its growing number of programs aimed at enhancing underrepresented minority participation in basic science research and channeling B.Sc. and M.Sc. graduates into professional degree-granting institutions. These programs include the NIH minority biomedical research support (MBRS) and the NSF alliance for minority participation (AMP) supported research training.
  6. Ultimately, the FACS facility is expected to contribute to improved recruitment and empowerment of minority students through academic and research training that incorporates up-to-date scientific and biomedical technology. This, in turn, will contribute to increased diversity in the American landscape of skilled professionals.

Sources of Support

This facility was made possible by a generous grant from the National Science Foundation entitled: "Acquisition Of A Fluorescence-Activated Cell Sorter To Support Research And Research Training at Chicago State University, A Minority Serving, Undergraduate Institution". In addition to this grant award with Dr Walid Al-Ghoul as the principal investigator, the space, infrastructures and ongoing funding to run the facility is provided by the university administration with strong support from the then University President, Elnora Daniel, the Dean of College of Arts and Sciences, Rachel Lindsey, and Chairman of the Department of Biological Sciences, Dr Floyd Banks. Other supply and maintenance funds come from director and major user grants as well as user fees.

For all Chicago State University members the De Novo Software Partner Program is offering a 10% discount off on FCS Express Software. Please contact the Flow Cytometry facility for details on how to receive the discount.

The Facs facility is supported by an NSF grant.