A group of School of Biological Sciences faculty will use a $316,778 grant from the National Science Foundation’s Division of Biological Infrastructure to purchase a high-speed fluorescence-activated cell sorter (FACS).

Principal investigator Laura Vogel, professor of immunology, worked with three co-investigators—Distinguished Professor of Biology Rachel Bowden, Assistant Professor of Infectious Disease Ecology Ben Sadd, and Assistant Professor of Cellular Immunology Nathan Mortimer—to secure the grant.

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This high-speed cell sorter is used to identify and isolate living cells based on their size and shape, and the color of their fluorescence after they have been dyed. These instruments are used in interdisciplinary research on white blood cells, disease ecology in bumblebees, pollen production in plants, and a host of other fields of study.

The introduction of FACS will have a significant impact on multiple research efforts across campus as it will give undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to develop important laboratory skills such as sample preparation and data collection and analysis, and help the University recruit and retain faculty.