Cell Phenotyping Hub

The BRC Cell Phenotyping Hub is situated centrally on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in E6. It offers a campus-wide access to all researchers across BRC themes.

As a central resource in the Clinical School, the Hub provides a wide variety of cytomics services (e.g. sorting, analysis and imaging for material from cell lines, mouse or unscreened human blood and tissue samples for phenotypic and functional analysis in clinical and non-clinical environments).

The Hub is a key element of the Cambridge BRC infrastructure; it provides vital technical and educational services that result in many major publications. A further function of the Hub is to collect and to disseminate the unique technological and scientific expertise crucial for promoting and supporting patient-based research and for translating basic biological findings into clinical practice. The Hub is actively engaged in flow cytometry networking and regional, national and international societies.

The Hub is equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation, including high-speed cell sorters and multi-laser analysers (polychromatic laser configurations are crucial for multicolour phenotyping and support applications with a wide range of fluorochromes). It also houses three microbiological safety cabinets for processing unscreened human samples, two confocal and two fluorescent microscopes.

The operations of the Hub are led by the Director of Services, Anna Petrunkina. The laboratories are staffed by six highly skilled scientists and technologists specialising and providing services in flow cytometry, cell separation, imaging and phenotyping.  The Hub operates collaboratively with the CIMR Flow Cytometry facility, and it liaises closely with other core facilities that enable translational research at the University of Cambridge. The Hub is fostering scientific collaborations with the researchers and Departments, and two associate scientists are currently having their placement in the Hub, focussing on research in Immunity and Psychiatry.

Since its establishment in 2012, the service volume in the Phenotyping Hub has more than doubled. It is now regularly used by ten Departments and two Institutes of the Clinical School, and occasionally by the Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Welcome Trust/MRC Centre for Stem Cell Research and other academic organisations. Hub networking has resulted in many sponsorships and collaborations enhancing both the range and the quality of its educational and scientific support activities.

Major awards from the Capital Equipment Fund, matching funding from MRC and contributions from the Diabetes and Inflammation Laboratory have ensured further development of this crucial resource: equipment has recently been upgraded to replace obsolete sorters with high-end machines to enable state-of-the-art scientific support and two new instruments will shortly be in place to support the infrastructure.

Key contact:

Director of Services, Anna Petrunkina, Professor (Apl.) Biomedical Engineering and Reproductive Biology, Tel. 01223 336812, email: ap542@medschl.cam.ac.uk

Support is available in the form of:

  • Education and training
  • Phenotyping services
  • Cell Analysis services (including Confocal Imaging)
  • Cell separation services
  • Technical support
  • Access to shared equipment base
  • Consultation & Knowledge Transfer

More information about the NIHR Cambridge BRC Cell Phenotyping Hub, its services, instruments and bookings is available here