The Division of Immunology has a significant service commitment to the Center. These service functions can be divided into two major cores: 1) Flow cytometry core, 2) Immunology core.
The Flow Cytometry Core is an integral part of TNPRC supporting the research program of several core and affiliate investigators across multiple disciplines and departments at TNPRC. Operational since 1985, the TNPRC Flow Cytometry Core is managed by the Division of Immunology with Dr. Amitinder Kaur as its current Scientific Director overseeing three full-time and one part-time technical personnel. The core provides analytical flow cytometry services and live cell sorting under enhanced Biosafety Level 2 (BSL2+) conditions.
The Flow Cytometry Core currently operates five Becton-Dickinson (BD) Flow Cytometer instruments. These include one BD LSRFortessa (4-laser/13-color), one BD LSRII (3-laser/13-color), one BD FACSVerse (8-color), and one BD FACSCalibur (2-laser/4-color) for sample acquisition, and one BD FACSAria IIu cell sorter (3-laser/12-color) for sample acquisition and four-way live cell sorting under enhanced BSL2+ level conditions. The BD FACSVerse is equipped with a flow sensor for volumetric measurements, thereby providing cell counts as well as the capability to determine absolute counts of stained populations. The core personnel conduct daily quality-control measures on the instruments and are responsible for all flow cytometry sample acquisition and cell sorting experiments performed at TNPRC.
The Immunology Assay Core (IAC) is a research service core that is housed in the Division of Immunology at TNPRC. The IAC provides several immunology services to core and affiliate investigators. Current services include PCR-based major histocompatibility complex (MHC) typing of rhesus macaques, multicolor staining for flow cytometry, access to an inventory of commonly-used antibodies, reagent compounding, sample processing such as cell separation techniques, irradiation of biological samples, and body composition scanning of research animals.
The Vector-Borne Infectious Disease component of this core produces tick vectors for research on Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases. The Diagnostic Parasitology component provides diagnostic services to clinical veterinarians and core and affiliate investigators when parasitic diseases are suspected in resident nonhuman primates. Services for affiliate investigators include blood parasite detection via microscopic examination of prepared blood smears and quantitative buffy-coat analysis, and intestinal parasite detection via microscopic examination of direct wet mounts, zinc sulfate flotation prepared slides, or parasite-specific assays.