Dr. Kassim Traore, chair and professor of biochemistry and genetics at the Campbell University Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine, and Dr. Amy Hinkelman, assistant professor of microbiology and immunology, have been awarded the North Carolina Biotechnology Institutional Development Grant for an ACEA NovoCyte 3005 Flow Cytometer.
Flow cytometers allow researchers to detect and measure physical and chemical characteristics of a population of cells or particles. The NovoCyte offers a high degree of flexibility, and it provides complex cell analysis capabilities.
“The new flow cytometer has a powerful impact,” said Dr. Hinkelman. “We can zero in on specific single cells, many of which can be very rare, while still gathering all of the data from the other types of cells.”
She further explained that one of the biggest limitations to research is samples, and with a flow cytometer one can have a small amount of sample, or even a mixed sample, and be able to look at multiple things. It broadens research capabilities and can also lead to the discovery of new things.
“This is how we discover, ‘What’s that?’” said Hinkelman. “Sometimes it’s not even the [answer to the] question we were asking, but because we’re [analyzing] another cell we can discover new things.”
The addition of the flow cytometer to the Smith Hall Research Center, located in the Tracey F. Smith Hall of Nursing and Medical Sciences, opens the door for collaboration between basic scientists and clinicians, and also with other university research programs.
“It helps build up capacity here,” said Dr. Traore. “Not only to work amongst ourselves, but also with other [schools and programs]. It’s also very simple for students. Once they learn the procedure, they can work in the lab [independently] and do their quick acquisition. Once it’s complete, we can analyze the data together, which is fantastic.”
The 12-month grant will provide up to $89,964 to the University for the research projects and activities proposed by Drs. Traore and Hinkelman. Other major users included in the grant are: Drs. Yunbo Li, Hong Zhu, Terri Hamrick, Khalil Eldeeb, and Oleg Alekseev.
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