Flow Cytometry Facility

The Medical College of Wisconsin Cancer Center Flow Cytometry facility is a state-of-the art facility that serves investigators at the Medical College of Wisconsin. In addition, the facility serves investigators at the Blood Research Institute, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Marquette University. The Flow Cytometry facility is supported in full by the MCW Cancer Center, through a grant from Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin (AHW). This shared resource provides investigators with on-site, cost-effective, comprehensive analytic flow cytometry and high-speed cell sorting services and expertise.

Rates, Location & Hours

  • The Flow Cytometry facility is located on the fourth floor of the Health Research Center, in Room 4670.
  • The daily hours of operation are from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. After-hours and weekend services are available upon request.
  • The FY13 hourly rate for the Flow Cytometry facility is $55.30 per hour.
  • For any questions and to request service, please contact facility director Jeff Woodliff at 414.456.4939 or jwoodlif@mcw.edu.
 Instrumentation & Services

Facility instrumentation includes a FACS Calibur and a FACS Aria Special Order System(SOS).

The FACS Calibur was purchased in 2000 and is a two-laser (488nm and 615nm), four-color, six-parameter, bench-top analyzer used primarily for evaluating surface and intracellular antigen expression, apoptosis detection, bead-based cytokine detection and cell-cycle analysis. Users are able to run their own samples on this instrument after training with the facility director.


The FACS Aria SOS is a fully-digital, four-laser (405nm, 488nm, 561nm and 640nm), ten-color, twelve-parameter instrument. It was purchased in 2010 by the Cancer Center. It is used for all cell sorting experiments (up to four populations simultaneously) and for immunophenotypic analysis requiring more than four colors. It is also equipped with an aerosol management option and temperature control.

 Other Services
  • Help with protocol and assay development and implementation, including selection of antibodies and fluorochromes.
  • Use of proper staining and compensation controls.
  • Selection of appropriate buffers and data analysis.
  • For investigators new to flow cytometry, the facility will also help purchase reagents and will assist in all aspects of sample preparation including cell staining, data acquisition and data analysis.
 Resource Director

Jeffrey Woodliff, PhD

Dr. Woodliff joined the Medical College of Wisconsin in December 2000 as the Director of the Flow Cytometry Facility. He obtained his Doctorate from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in 2001. He has over 26 years of hands-on experience utilizing many different types of flow cytometry applications and instrumentation. In addition to maintaining daily operation of the facility, Dr. Woodliff delivers the flow cytometry lecture to graduate students in the "Analytical Methods in Pharmacology and Toxicology" course, frequently consults with investigators on experimental design questions and potential flow cytometric applications, and is involved in several collaborative projects with investigators needing flow cytometric analysis.

 Key Technical Staff

Laura McOlash, BS, Research Technologist III

Ms. McOlash has been at the Medical College of Wisconsin since 1986 and is well versed in all aspects of laboratory work including flow cytometry. She has been working with the Flow Cytometry Facility for the past ten years. She helps with sample processing and staining cells for all of our collaborative projects. In addition, Ms. McOlash does all buffer preparation for the laboratory and orders all of the supplies.

 Recent Project Examples
  • Identification of circulating endothelial progenitor cells in patients with infantile hemangioma – Drs. Beth Drolet and Kristen Holland, MCW Department of Pediatrics/Dermatology
  • CD45 isoform expression on CLL cells – Dr. Ali Bseiso, Marshfield Clinic
  • Microarray analysis of lymphocytes following culture with serum from CF patients – Dr. Hara Levy MCW Department of Pediatrics/Pulmonology

Cancer Center Shared Resources

Visit the CTSI Resources and Services Directory

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Page Updated 03/09/2015